Yesterday, a delegation from the Republic of Armenia visited the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) for a presentation about best practices to fight corruption and the implementation of whistleblower laws. The visit was facilitated by the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), an initiative of the U.S. Department of State.
Attendees from the delegation included representatives from Armenia’s criminal court system (including both a lead judge and prosecutor), the Judicial Department, the Council of Justice, and the Ministry of Justice.
The purpose of the delegation’s visit was to gain better understanding of whistleblower laws and the role that monetary awards play as an incentive for those with information to step forward. The group was also able to learn more about NWC’s work.
It began with a discussion of NWC’s work on whistleblower cases, and then extended to a discussion of the international application of U.S. laws that have whistleblower award provisions, including the False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. What followed was a lively discussion and a questions and answers session with the delegation about the U.S.’ experience implementing whistleblower protection and reward laws.
The delegation’s tour of the U.S. is incredibly timely, as Armenia just passed a series of laws in 2017 that established a new anti-corruption body, which will become fully operational later this year. Included in the anti-corruption package is whistleblower legislation. At the January 2018 Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan cited anti-corruption efforts as a top law enforcement priority.
NWC hopes the Armenian delegation will be able to learn from their time in the U.S. and use our lessons-learned to strengthen their democratic institutions back home.