Sunday, January 19, 2014


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 violations .
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 protection.
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.  

Peter Bowden ( Dr.)


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