TI Australia Position Paper
To ensure public interest whistleblowing is facilitated, protected and acted on in Australia â€“ as a key plank of corruption detection and resilience for organisations and employees alike, across the public, business and civil society sectors.
Whistleblowers (organisational insiders who disclose wrongdoing in or by their organisation, to trigger action) play a key role in exposing otherwise unknown acts of corruption.Â Frequently, it becomes clear that organisations, law enforcers and other regulators could have acted earlier to prevent or deal with corruption or wrongdoing â€“ if only people with relevant knowledge had spoken up, to the right people or in the right way, or had been listened to when they first raised concerns.
While Australia has been at the forefront of recognising the role of whistleblowing in its public integrity systems, there remain major problems:
- Nationally, legal protections for business and civil society whistleblowers are largely missing, and include out-of-date thresholds and barriers
- At federal and state level, key government whistleblower protection legislation remains incomplete or out-of-date
- Existing legislation is not proving effective in delivering support, protection and remedies for employees in the face of risks of detriment for making a public interest disclosure
- Best practice organisational approaches to facilitating and protecting whistleblowing do not have clear enough statutory support and oversight; and
- There is a lack of independent advice and legal support services for employees who are considering blowing, or who do blow, the whistle on wrongdoing.
For TI Australiaâ€™s full statement of the problem and what Australian governments, business and other stakeholders need to do about it, download our position paper.
Position Paper 8 â€“ February 2017