Whistleblowing Across the Globe
Throughout the past decade, American media outlets have highlighted whistleblowing as a key element in the prosecution of historical corporate fraud scandals. Whistleblowing may be the most effective fraud-detection device available to investigators; knowledgeable employees within a company can lead investigators directly to the source of fraudulent activity. U.S Whistleblowing Developments
Several recent events within the U.S provide evidence that initiatives to further develop national whistleblowing policies are truly worthwhile. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, signed into law by President Obama on July 21st, 2010, provisioned monetary rewards ...view middle of the document...
This was the first reward given from the office since its establishment in August 2011 (Berman; SEC issues First Whistleblower Program Award). These events represent victories for investigators, prosecutors, investors, and the public at large. Yet, these victories are inconclusive to the international effort to decrease illegal and unethical corporate behavior. Financial fraudulent reporting and other forms of white-collar crime are international concerns
because they defeat essential principles in ethics that are accepted cross-culturally. Moreover, whistleblowing is a critical issue in today’s business environment because virtually every company readily competes and operates in a global marketplace. Without innovating methods to counter the risk of fraud and improve the specific techniques to report fraud, corruption becomes more pervasive and detrimental to all peoples and societies. Whistleblower Activities in Foreign Countries
Developing and enforcing whistleblowing policies is the responsibility of a country’s government. Developed countries, such as the United States and United Kingdom, have a large amount of legislation that explicitly establishes national whistleblowing guidelines. Less-developed countries, such as a majority of Middle Eastern and African nations, make little, if any, mention of whistleblowing in their official laws. Yet the absence of government action should not imply that underdeveloped countries do not acknowledge the importance of or participate in efforts to eliminate fraudulent activity. Transparency International is an independent organization that provides educational resources and fraud-reporting services in over 100 countries. Since 2003, the organization’s Advocacy and Legal Rights Centers (ALACs) provide free legal counsel to both witnesses and victims of corruption (“Get Involved – Report a Corruption”). Transparency International also works with universities, corporations, and other non-governmental organizations around the world to create and implement specific tools to fight fraud in the private and public sector. For example, Transparency International has created Integrity Pacts. Integrity Pacts are formal agreements between government bodies offering contracts for public projects, such as highway development, and companies bidding for work on those projects. To participate in the bidding process, both parties must agree to “abstain from bribery, collusion, and other corrupt practices for the extent of the contract”. National and international civil interest groups then form a monitoring system to oversee the procurement and completion of the project. As a result, a government’s operations gain transparency, providing the public with easier access to information and a greater trust in the decisions made by the government. Integrity pacts have also had a history with projects being completed on
schedule and within budget. (“Integrity Pacts”) Blowing the Whistle
Many companies have internal...