Sunday, April 19, 2009

Whistleblower Protection Act: Bring it in Private Sector also!

A few days back, as I watching the news on a local Chicago channel, the Illinois Governor Patt Quinn ( Governor is an elected official, hence equivalent to Chief Minister of an Indian State) announced that in order to encourage the phenomenon of whistle-blowing, some percentage of the money -if recovered - would be given to the whistle blower also. This I believe will encourage people to come out with more exposures.

The Illinois state has provided a website so that a person can get help how to expose corruption.

What does the term "Whistle blower" mean? The website tells us that: "A whistleblower is someone who exposes wrongdoing, fraud, corruption and/or waste."
The government provides protection to someone who exposes corruption (whistleblower): Whistleblower Protection Act.

Does India have Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA)?

Yes, it was enacted after a lot of public pressure and outcry.
One of the resource on internet says:

" Four years ago (2005?), India was rocked by the murder of Satyendra Dubey, a government engineer who exposed corruption in the national highway building program.

Two years later, Shanmughan Manjunath, a manager at a state-owned oil company, laid bare a scheme to sell impure gasoline. His body was found riddled with bullets in the back seat of his car. Is this what honest person should get in India.

After all, Satyendra Dubey may not have died in vain. His death was neither the first, nor will be the last that vested interests will perpetrate, but Dubey’s death uniquely galvanised nation-wide protest. That he was an alumnus of IIT mattered. IIT-ians across the world demanded action. Now at last, India has taken the first tentative step towards a full-fledged law to protect whistleblowers.

Finally on April 21, the Ministry of Personnel issued a notification granting immunity to all employees of the government except those in armed and intelligence services.

For the moment, the protector of whistleblowers will be the statutory office of the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). A robust law is however, some years away."

What Further?
● In India, WPA is a welcome step. Indian government machinery is thoroughly infected with the virus of corruption. This will help fight the corruption to a certain extent. Make it more popular, and efficient! Make it simple!

● But it should be extended to private sector also so that more of Satyams can be prevented.

To conclude:
I also found a Indian blog dedicated to issues related to Whistle-blowing: http://whistleblowers.wordpress.com/

"If you must sin, sin against God, not against the bureaucracy. God may forgive you, but the bureaucracy never will!"— U.S. Admiral Hyman Rickover
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