×

IN 2019 DELNA WHISTLEBLOWERS CENTRE ADVISED RESIDENTS ABOUT CORRUPTION AND OTHER VIOLATIONS

The Transparency International Latvia – Delna Whistleblowers Centre has been working with whistleblowers for over 15 years, on behalf of both people and companies wishing to report corruption or other violations. We receive dozens of reports each year and provide advice and support to all.

.

2019 Consultations

In 2019, the Delna Whistleblowers (WB) Centre received 44 enquiries from potential whistleblowers. Our experts dealt with each case within the competence of the WB Centre: providing advice, support or in-depth consultation; recommending the competent authority to solve the problem; and providing assistance in the preparation of documents. The WB Centre experts take a case-by-case approach and the total consultation time devoted to each potential whistleblower ranges from 30 minutes to an hour of remote consultation, up to several tens of hours of in-depth research and documentation and, in some cases, legal representation.

.

Support for whistleblowers

In 44 of the potential cases in 2019, nine persons were identified as whistleblowers the Whistleblowing Act. In all of these cases, The WB Centre experts provided advice:

  • in four cases, face-to-face consultations including, depending on the complexity of each case, repeated consultations, preparation of documents, representation in court;
  • in five cases, counselling and legal assistance provided to the whistleblowers remotely (by telephone and/or email).

.

At present, the competent authorities have taken over resolution of these cases and active and regular involvement of the WB Centre is no longer required.

.

About a third of the reports received at the WB Centre in 2019 concerned an individual civil or administrative legal dispute that could be resolved through a private consultation with a lawyer rather than requiring the mechanisms provided by the Whistleblowers Act.

.

When to contact the Delna WB Centere

The WB Centre invites individuals and entrepreneurs to contact the WB Centre even if they are unsure whether their case actually qualifies as whistleblowing – they do not need to have to be legal experts themselves. Delna will listen to anyone who suspects corruption or a threat to the public interest and who has questions about reporting provisions. We will help you to find the best solution. If the report is related to issues within the scope of the Delna WB Centre, we will provide more extensive counselling aimed toward resolution of the problem.

.

Where to raise an alarm and submit a report

Since 2013, Delna has been actively advocating for encouraging whistleblowing and protecting whistleblowers. Less than a year ago, on May 1, 2019, the Whistleblowers Act came into force, requiring all state and municipal institutions, as well as companies with at least 50 employees, to implement an internal whistleblowing alarm system.

.

The law provides that an employee may submit a whistleblower’s report at his/her workplace, at a competent authority, the Whistleblowers Contact Point (currently – the State Chancellery) or at a non-governmental organisation, etc. If none of these mechanisms are available, the whitleblower can also blow the whistle in public via media. It is important to note that if the legal criteria, as provided in the act, are met, then the whistleblower is entitled to receive legal protection.

.

Delna’s experience in 2019 shows that one of the mechanisms – the possibility for potential whistleblowers to turn to NGOs – has been a forward-looking legislative initiative. If, for any reason, an employee does not wish to raise an issue through the internal mechanism in place at the workplace, at the Whistleblowers Contact Point or at the competent authority, he or she may contact Delna in confidence to identify the most appropriate way to investigate or prevent a potential violation.

.

The Delna WB Centre will continue its work in 2020

Thanks to co-financing from the Transparency Foundation and donors to the Alliance Against Corruption in Latvia, Delna will continue in 2020 to provide pro bono advisory work and support for whistleblowers.

.

In 2020, we will also continue to inform and educate public and private sector staff on the opportunities and rights provided in the Whistleblowers Act, particularly regarding protection of the whistleblower from, for example, adverse consequences in the workplace, etc. We will also explain to business leaders the benefits of implementing internal whistleblowing systems and help make these more effective to enhance employee confidence in management.

.

This article was written under the auspices of the project “Support for Whistleblowers”, funded by the Transparency Foundation and donors to the Alliance Against Corruption in Latvia.

Pievienot komentāru

  •  

     

     

    Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 16.07.52

     

    rokas_gramataddddddbilde

    empiric_1