WHISTLEBLOWER Bill minister Brendan Howlin this mornign promisedto make whistleblower legislation the ‘best in the world’.
And he urged interested organisations or civil rights groups with a view on how that legislation should be formed to get in touch.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland he said: ‘We need to see how the UK legislation has worked and to ensure we have the best scheme avaialable in the world.
‘We promised we would have an over-arching law that would (allow whistleblowers) expose wrong doing.’
He said his department had ‘looked at best international proactice’, and the Bill will use UK and New Zealand legislation as templates
He said there should have been protection for whistleblowers in the past, especially during the ‘collapse in our economy’ and for people ‘who should have been able to shout stop and weren’t able to’.
He said one of the main points of the Bill will be designed ‘without putting the whistleblower in any hazzard’
He added: ‘We are looking at any glitches and open to suggestions.’
Minnister Howlin was, unfortunately, interupted before he could give a categorical guarantee that whistleblowers who go to the press – what he described as ‘the end of the graduated sphere’ – with their concerns will be protected.
When asked if those who go to the press will be protected, he only got as far as saying: ‘They will be protected from bringing this . . . ‘
Although he assured that all whistleblowers will be protected, he did admit that where someone blows a whistle in a small office environment it ‘will be difficult to protect’ them.
He said: ‘They will be protected, they can’t be sacked and if they feel they can’t work they will be entitled to compensation.
‘There will be a legal responsibility to protect the information and the giver of the information.’
But, he added, ‘that might not be possible in every circumstances’.
Do you have a whistle to blow? Call 087 919 9113.
You do not have to give your name and any information you give will be taken in the strictest of confidence.