Resources from Transparency International

Whistleblowing protection in Romania and Hungary. Chêne, M. 2015.  

Analysing the legal framework regulating whistleblower protection in Romania and Hungary, this resource also explores how national law in these countries requires companies to implement whistleblower protection procedures. It identifies legislative good practices in whistleblower protection extending to both public institutions and private companies including: a broad definition of a whistleblower; protection against all forms of retaliation and discrimination; clearly communicated internal and external disclosure channels (including anonymous reporting); the right to confidentiality; and the right to receive advice on rights, compensation and damages (resulting from retaliation). It identifies Romania as having a strong whistleblowing protection legal framework, although it is limited to the public sector only. Hungary, by contrast, extends whistleblower protection legislation to both public and private sectors but is considered problematic, not least in its requirement that corporate compliance officers inform targets of whistleblower disclosures that they are the subject of a complaint, undermining the credibility of a subsequent investigation.    

Best practice and challenges for whistleblowing systems in MNCs. Martini, M. 2012  

This overview finds that elements of an effective whistleblowing system for a multinational company (MNC) include: clear announcement of the reporting channel; accessibility to all employees (taking into account differing time zones and languages); cultural appropriateness; guarantee of confidentiality if desired; availability of reporting mechanisms to third parties; collection of data from reports; screening to detect frivolous or malicious reporting; and protection from retaliation. 

The main challenges to effective whistleblowing mechanisms include: compliance with national legislation, privacy and data privacy issues and legal restrictions on outsourcing whistleblowing hotlines, among others. The resource also maps some key actors offering advice in the field, such as professional service firms and specialised companies, and NGOs and Transparency International chapters who provide whistleblowing services, such as TI Mauritius or TI Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres (ALACs) and the UK charity Public Concern at Work.  

Whistleblowing mechanisms in municipalities. Wheatland, B. 2016.  

This resource explores best practices and applications of whistleblowing mechanisms in municipalities (in an international context). It identifies that, in partnership with strong whistleblowing protection laws, good whistleblowing systems in municipalities are essential for whistleblower protection. Best practices include: allowing citizens to raise complaints against local government officials while also obliging local civil servants to report corruption; the establishment of an independent complaints office within the local government; and an independent complaints procedure that fits the local context. More specific recommendations include: ensuring confidentiality; establishing criteria for reports to be assessed as valid; and a competent body and system to investigate complaints. Case studies from South Africa, Canada, US, UK and Italy illustrate the variations of whistleblowing systems in municipalities.  

Whistleblowing in Europe: Legal protections for whistleblowers in the EU. Worth, M. 2013.  

This 2013 report surveys the whistleblower protection laws of 27 EU member states, and can be used as summary guidance to the legal as well as political and social contexts of the EU countries covered, bearing in mind that several updates to the national legislation of some countries have since occurred. It also examines the perception of whistleblowers in EU countries and explores the variations in terminology for whistleblowing across EU country languages.    

The business case for “speaking up”: How internal reporting mechanisms strengthen private sector organisations. Transparency International. 2017.

Created in consultation with Transparency International national chapters and businesses, this resource discusses the merits and challenges businesses may encounter when implementing a whistleblowing mechanism, asserting that it is within a business’s interest to establish internal reporting mechanisms. It identifies and details six key benefits of an internal reporting mechanism to businesses, namely: public signal of commitment to integrity and social responsibility; prevention and mitigation of liability; prevention or mitigation of financial losses; continuous improvement in compliance and risk management; prevention or mitigation of reputational harm; and enhancement of organisational culture  

Whistleblowing: An effective tool in the fight against corruption. Transparency International policy position. 2010.  

This policy position offers a brief set of policy and legal recommendations from Transparency International, namely: effective legal protection of whistleblowers against retaliation with full compensation in case of reprisals; adequate mechanisms in public, private and not-for-profit organisations to ensure that disclosures are properly handled and thoroughly investigated; and public research, data collection, information and training to inform the public of the benefit of whistleblowing. Section 4 addresses and makes recommendations for the need for effective follow-up mechanisms in organisations. 

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