Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union


What are some best practices and good examples of whistleblowing systems that are in place in cities around the world?


To support the development of a whistleblowing mechanism for the city of Helsinki.


  1. Whistleblowing mechanisms in municipalities
  2. Principles for complaints mechanisms in local government
  3. Examples of whistleblowing mechanisms in municipalities
  4. References


Municipalities, like all forms of government, have an inherent potential risk of corruption. They administer large amounts of public funds, and have decision-making power that affects the lives of many peopleAt the same time, decentralised power allows for greater opportunities for corruption to occur, and municipalities tend to have less robust and developed accountability mechanisms that can identify, punish and prevent corruption than national governments. In such circumstances, whistleblowing can play an important role in filling this accountability gap, as it allows both the public and lower level public and business employees to report on wrongdoing. Internationally, there is a large consensus on what constitutes good whistleblowing practice. This includes comprehensive whistleblowing legislation, varied and safe channels of reporting, and strong and effective protection for those who chose to blow the whistle.There are a number of municipalities that have, in recent years, begun to implement their own whistleblowing policies. These are often open to both staff members and members of the public, and in the majority of cases seem to have been used for their intended purpose.


Ben Wheatland, Transparency International [email protected]


Marie Chêne, Transparency InternationalFinn Heinrich PhD, Transparency International [email protected]




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