In the course of undertaking our daily activities, we are bound to abide by some guidelines, work according to set rules and relate based on some laws (El). Inasmuch as these rules, guidelines, conditions and/or laws may be clear, defiance is society is inevitable; illegal activities, fraud, mismanagement of funds, or general wrong doing still exists in our work environment; a state that gives birth to whistleblowers (GAP). A whistleblower is a person who gives information to law enforcement body or an agency that regulates operation of a certain industry or group of people or even a person concerning an illegal activity; exposing an offender. (GAP).
The word itself is not new, since time immemorial we have been having whistleblowers. For examples include Edward Snowden, who openly admitted to have leaked the information to National Security Agency; where he works. Others include Frank Serpico, Jeffrey Wigand and Coleen Rowley (Fastenberg, 2013).
Whistleblowers mainly exists to give intelligence information, especially to the government. Governments’ agencies all over the world rely on the intelligence information to track wrongdoing and prevent occurrence of risks such as terrorism activities (Public Accounts Committee, 2014). The absence of whistleblowers can make the intelligence departments of businesses and governments unproductive. Margaret Hodge, one of the members of parliament had this to say about whistleblowing, “Whistleblowing is a crucial source of intelligence to help government identify wrongdoing and risks to public service delivery.” (Public Accounts Committee, 2014)
Thus in brevity, whistleblowing should exist to track down the evil and harmful activities that are continually skyrocketing in our environment; especially in the terrorism activities.
Due to the sensitivity and risky nature of whistleblowing profession, the government and concerned agencies should ensure protection of the whistleblowers. Should not only involve safety and security but also welfare because the whistleblowers’ welfare should be looked into; most of the time, whistleblowers have to separate themselves from their beloved ones to seek asylum (Public Accounts Committee, 2014).
Margaret Hodge notes, “Departments must ensure that whistleblowers are protected, supported and have their welfare monitored. There should be timely reporting back to whistleblowers on how their concerns have been addressed. Compromise agreements should not be used to buy silence from whistleblowers and instead should be subject to approval by the Cabinet Office.”
The government of Australia has recognized the need for whistleblower protection. Australian Securities and Investment Commission has defined and classified who a whistleblower is and sworn to protect any person who lies under the classification giving information to them (ASIC).
The concept of whistleblowing is important to our contemporary society. However, besides the myriads of benefits, whistleblowers are continuously being exposed to danger making those willing to blow the whistle to back off. Thus it is important for stakeholders to come up with right modalities to strengthen and reinvigorate the activities of whistleblowers.
ASIC. (n.d.). Guidance for whistleblowers. Retrieved from Australian Security and Investment Commission: https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/asic-investigations-and-enforcement/whistleblowing/guidance-for-whistleblowers/
El, B. (n.d.). Examples of Whistleblowing in Business. Retrieved from Chron: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-whistleblowing-business-2651.html
Fastenberg, D. (2013, June 12). 9 Famous Whistle-Blowers: Where Are They Now? Retrieved from Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/9-famous-whistle-blowers-2013-6?IR=T
GAP. (n.d.). What is a Whistleblower? Retrieved from Government Accountability Project: https://www.whistleblower.org/what-whistleblower
Public Accounts Committee. (2014, August 1). Whistleblowing is important source of intelligence. Retrieved from Parliament of UK: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/news/report-whistleblowing-policy/
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