Concern expressed over Report’s impact on pending EU whistleblower directive

WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 20, 2018—The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) and the European Center for Whistleblowers Rights has made a formal request to the Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Mark Carney, that the BoE remove a misleading report on U.S. whistleblower reward laws from its website within 10 working days.

The letter to Governor Carney states: “We are concerned that continued use of the BoE Report as a policy reference will only serve to inhibit the implementation of effective anti-fraud laws in the U.K. Many of its assertions […] are simply false.”

The BoE Report, titled “Financial Incentives for Whistleblowers,” was formulated after a group of UK regulators visited the U.S. in 2013 to observe its whistleblower programs. Its claims include that US whistleblower rewards do not generate quality tips and that whistleblower programs tax government resources with minimal returns. The full BoE Report can be found here.

NWC’s rebuttal of the BoE Report highlights its misunderstanding of U.S. laws and agency jurisdiction, the selective use of data, and irrelevant evidence and sources. The full NWC rebuttal can be found here.

Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, Stephen M. Kohn, stated: “The Bank of England has done a great disservice to the citizens of the U.K. Their report on whistleblower incentive laws is deceptive and has been used to support whistleblower policies that fail to effectively protect whistleblowers.”

“By rejecting financial incentives for whistleblowers, the Bank of England is enabling corruption and weakening the ability of employees and citizens to expose fraud and other crimes,” added Mark Worth, Executive Director of the European Center for Whistleblower Rights in Berlin. “Moreover, the fact that the Bank relied on misrepresentations raises questions about its commitment to ending impunity for guilty parties.”

“Whistle-blowers are essential to uncovering serious wrongdoing. Without them, much is hidden. Financial incentives simply recognise this truth. Also, if the rewards encourage staff to expose corporate wrongdoing which affects tax-payers, retail shareholders, pension funds etc. then it is worth it,” stated Clive Howard, Senior Principal Lawyer of Employment at Slater and Gordon (UK) LLP and leading expert in U.K. employment law.

He continued, “And it should be remembered, the current UK whistle-blowing law makes it very difficult for a whistleblower to progress a claim and come out standing at the other end. The legislation should be there to encourage whistle-blowers.”

Kohn, who has been a whistleblower attorney for over 30 years, added: “It is absolutely essential that the UK and EU rely on accurate information when considering whistleblower laws. Whistleblowers are the number one source of fraud detection and any effective anti-corruption program must incentivize these invaluable sources of information.”

The National Whistleblower Center will be announcing its formal position on the EU whistleblower directive proposal next week.


Resources: