This is a multi-part series on the Whistleblower Protection Blog covering the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018.
Whistleblowers are a key component of fighting fraud and corruption. From securities to regulations to wildlife trafficking, whistleblowers help report, investigate, and prosecute those who fail to follow the rules. The National Whistleblower Center has more than 30 years of history advocating for whistleblowers and strongly supports the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697), a bill which will protect species under threat by expanding protections and rewards for wildlife whistleblowers.
The National Whistleblower Center is proud to offer this report to highlight some examples of best practices for whistleblower law implementation as seen in this landmark legislation, as well as policies followed by agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or advocated for by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The issues explored fall under three categories: effective public education and communication campaigns; key components to proper implementation, including clear and concrete policies; and functions for necessary oversight or auditing.
For example, public education and communication campaigns serve to teach potential whistleblowers how and what to do. The campaigns also inform law enforcement agents about their policies and generate a culture which values whistleblowers. Some of these practices include the creation of user-friendly websites, the publicizing of resources, public acquisition of data,/and documentation of whistleblower awards. Programs that implement whistleblower programs with a clear process and uniform eligibility criteria are overwhelmingly successful. Whistleblower programs that track data and have many avenues of oversight are able to ensure that they are utilizing the best avenues available to enforce laws and catch criminals. Moreover, having data easily accessible and audited by an outside or independent party is crucial to upholding transparency and ensuring the program is effective.
The attached report highlights the need for the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697). Its passage will be a step in the right direction for whistleblower protections, and an absolutely necessary one in order to halt the mass extinction crisis.