The proposed European Parliament directive on whistleblower protection could make it more difficult for individuals to come forward with information about wrongdoing, according to a group transparency and anti-corruption groups.

At issue is a provision that requires employees to report potential crimes and fraud internally before going to regulators and law enforcement.

Whistleblower Protection in EUIf this mandatory internal disclosure regime stands, the directive will have abandoned responsible Europeans who raise concerns appropriately to their employers through their supervisors or normal management channels of communication, who disclose information to competent authorities who have the power and mandate to address wrongdoing, or who provide information to the journalists who investigate and report in the public interest. They will suffer. Europe will suffer.

 

The letter also makes the following points:

• It allows law enforcement and regulatory bodies to do their jobs properly;
• It ensures employers take seriously their responsibility to make it safe and acceptable to report internally; and
• There is no evidence this undermines internal channels as the genuine first port of call for individuals
• It protects freedom of expression. Continue Reading The effort to improve whistleblower protection in Europe will fail unless insiders can seek help from outsiders

Tinker Ready, a journalist who has worked with whistleblowers throughout her career as a writer and investigative reporter, is the new editor of the Whistleblower Protection Blog.

With the help of whistleblowers, Ready has written important stories about medical conflicts of interest, poor conditions in nursing homes, and disease in an industrial slaughterhouse. Find her coverage of health, science and general news in NEO.LIFEThe Boston GlobeUndarkNature BostonFast CompanyThe Washington PostThe News & Observer, and Health Leaders Media.

She is also an adjunct faculty member at both Northeastern University and Boston University.

 

 

Fresh water turtlesA recent investigation into wildlife trafficking highlights the importance of improving whistleblower incentives in the wildlife crimes sphere. Through “Operation Dragon,” the Wildlife Justice Commission (“WJC”) investigated the ties between the trafficking of endangered and CITES-listed freshwater turtles and the corruption that facilitates that illicit trade. Over the course of two years, WJC used undercover investigators to document operations of eight major trafficking networks in South Asia and the corrupt customs and transportation officials that consistently enabled the trafficking. The investigation allowed law enforcement to significantly disrupt these networks, arresting 30 individuals and seizing over 6,000 freshwater turtles. Wholesale value for a batch of 6,000 averages $3 million. Continue Reading As Anti-Corruption Day Approaches, WJC Report Reminds Us of the Importance of Whistleblower Incentives

Photo Credit: Leslie Rose Photography
Photo Credit: Leslie Rose Photography

Whistleblowers have been effective at combatting financial and corporate crime, but are sorely lacking in the sphere of wildlife crime. If empowered to combat it, whistleblowers could be fundamental to dismantling the wildlife crime economy, writes Scott Hajost, Managing Director, Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program, National Whistleblower Center. Continue Reading Empowering whistleblowers is the key to combating wildlife crime

judge-gavel-law-bookThe Trump Administration has signed the Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act (S. 1869) into law, permanently reauthorizing the Whistleblower Protection Coordinator position in all federal agencies’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Special Counsel Henry Kerner stated: “This an important step to ensure whistleblowers who disclose waste, fraud, and abuse know their rights and are protected.”

Continue Reading Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act Passed into Law

Washington-dc-buildingConcern 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.”

Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center Requests Bank of England Withdraw ‘Deleterious’ Whistleblower Report

Kohn is representing an anonymous whistleblower(s) who has gathered information on wildlife trafficking that takes place on Facebook.

Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) and whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn has been featured in a WIRED article about Facebook’s wildlife trafficking market. The story details how Kohn and his team at NWC are using a novel methodology, whistleblower law, to hold Facebook accountable for the wildlife black market facilitated on its website. Continue Reading Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center Featured in WIRED Story

Members of the “Whistleblower 101” panel held on Thursday morning.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The bipartisan Whistleblower Protection Caucus hosted a “Whistleblower 101” educational workshop on Thursday morning. The event, held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, featured a panel of experts from Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC), National Security Agency (NSA), and Department of Justice (DOJ). Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Stephen M. Kohn was the moderator of the panel.

Continue Reading National Whistleblower Center Executive Director Leads Whistleblower Workshop on the Hill

This is a multi-part series on the Whistleblower Protection Blog covering the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018. 

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report titled: “Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Opportunities Exist to Improve the Use of Financial Rewards.” It further demonstrates the urgent need for legislation like the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2018 (H.R. 5697), which contains provisions for the payment of financial rewards to incentivize wildlife whistleblowers.

Continue Reading H.R 5697 Series—Part II: The GAO Calls For Improved Wildlife Whistleblower Reward Programs

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a panel discussion to examine the effects of transnational wildlife trafficking on U.S. security. During the hearing, Members of Congress and panelists discussed methods to combat and report cases of illegal ivory trade and wildlife trafficking. Specifically, panelists brought up efforts by the National Whistleblower Center to expose wildlife crime on social media platforms like Facebook.

Continue Reading House Foreign Affairs Committee Discusses Wildlife Trafficking