12/08/2009 - Greater protection for whistleblowers?

A committee of MPs have called for greater protection of whistleblowers in a report published this week. The public administration select committee said that most leaks wre due to frustration at perceived cover-ups.  The committee acknowleged the difficulties face by public servants in raising real concerns that ministers could have misled MPs or the public. It said:-


"The most effective way to prevent leaks by civil servants is to provide accessible, effective and visible channels by which civil servants of all grades can raise genuine concerns about the conduct of government. Whilst progress is being made increasing awareness about whistleblowing procedures in the Senior Civil Service, more needs to be done to ensure that all grades know how to access them and have the confidence to do so. In particular, much more should be done to ensure that whistleblowers who raise concerns in good faith are protected and feel that their concerns are taken seriously."


The Committee felt that:-

""Committed civil servants are extremely unlikely to follow approved channels if they fear that their careers could suffer as a result. They may see anonymous disclosure to the press as safer."


Solidarity President, Adam Walker welcomed the report:-

"More must be done to protect whistleblowers. There is little confidence in the current system."