Several US whistleblower laws have international applications that have been used to fight fraud and corruption worldwide.
The laws are key to anti-bribery efforts, and insider disclosures have already resulted in millions of dollars in fines in the U.S. and beyond, Washington-based lawyer Stephen M. Kohn told a group of international anti-corruption organizations on Friday, February 1.
The “International Conference on Anticorruption Policies” took place in Attica, Greece and was sponsored by the Hellenic Anti-Corruption Organization. Kohn, who is director of the National Whistleblowers Center, was one of the speakers.
But whistleblowers need to be rewarded and protected from retribution, Kohn said. He has urged the European Parliament to strengthen its proposed whistleblower directive to protect the identity of anonymous whistleblowers.
U.S. whistleblower programs allow for the protection of witnesses and detection of corrupt activities, including bribes paid to politicians by multi-national corporations, Kohn said. Penalties act to deter fraud and bribery.
Without these programs, the costs of exposing fraud and bribery is prohibitive, Kohn said.