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.”