Beefing Up Whistleblower Protections

Fed up with lagging behind international standards on private sector whistleblowing, the AICD have called for protections to be significantly expanded.

In summary, it supports:

  • Extending protections to unpaid workers, accountants and auditors.
  • Protections for disclosures made anonymously or through a lawyer.
  • Replacing the ‘good faith’ test with an evidence-based test.

And doesn’t support (for now):

  • Third party (e.g. MPs or media) disclosures.
  • Financial incentives for whistleblowers, such as the so-called SEC ‘bounties’ in the US.

In the words of AICD Chairman, Elizabeth Proust (via The Australian):

“Too many times in Australia we’ve seen whistleblowers suffer the consequences of bringing corporate wrongdoing to light. Often the rest of us have benefited from their disclosure, either as a ­consumer or a taxpayer or a shareholder.”