SENATE INQUIRY - WHISTLEBLOWING
I have recently completed a lengthy inquiry on
whistleblowing:world wide, to be published next month under the title “ In the
Public Interest”. I also submitted to the earlier Treasury inquiry on
corporate whistleblowing and subsequently written an analysis of that
inquiry. My main points taken from this earlier work, are;
1, Australia needs a corporate whistleblower
protection scheme , and needs one urgently.
2. The current whistleblower provisions in the
Corporations Act cover only contraventions of that Act . They need to cover all
wrongdoings against the law , including health, safety and environmental
3.Australia needs a rewards scheme similar to
The False Claims and Dodd Frank Act in the US. The economic and ethical
arguments in support of such a scheme are too large to be ignored.
4. Australia should not, as in the US, adopt a
whistleblower protection scheme for each industry. Such an approach complicates
the difficulties already facing whistleblowers. Instead, it should adopt
a scheme for all industries and for the public sector, as in the UK, with a
comprehensive listing of wrongs against which the government will provide
5. ASIC’s performance has been woeful. A more
comprehensive solution is for the Commonwealth Ombudsman ( or similar body ) to
act as a coordinating and supporting agency for whistleblowing
The whistleblower can disclose his/her information to the regulator
or the coordinator, as they wish.