JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s Protected Disclosures Act is regarded as one of the best pieces of whistleblowing legislation enacted in countries globally, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • Enacted in 2011, Jamaica’s Protected Disclosures Act seeks to encourage and facilitate specified disclosures of improper conduct in the public interest, while protecting persons reporting such.
  • Other countries enacting similar legislation, which are also rated highly by the OECD, include: the UK, Australia, South Africa, United States (US), South Korea, and New Zealand.

Jamaica’s Protected Disclosures Act is regarded as one of the best pieces of whistleblowing legislation enacted in countries globally, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

This disclosure was made by Head of Public Sector at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in the United Kingdom (UK), Gillian Fawcett, who says a strong whistleblowing arrangement can make a huge contribution to good governance within the private and public sectors.

She emphasized these points while addressing a panel discussion  on “Ethics and Whistleblowing in the Public and Financial Sectors”, hosted by the ACCA in partnership with the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) and Financial Services Commission (FSC), at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, on Friday, September 12.

Enacted in 2011, Jamaica’s Protected Disclosures Act seeks to encourage and facilitate specified disclosures of improper conduct in the public interest, while protecting persons reporting such.

Other countries enacting similar legislation, which are also rated highly by the OECD, include: the UK, Australia, South Africa, United States (US), South Korea, and New Zealand.

Ms. Fawcett described whistleblowing as a “failsafe mechanism” that can help to identify systemic failure within an organisation. She said the legislation’s provisions, in principle, and accompanying supporting guidelines are deemed pivotal in relation to executing anti-fraud and corruption measures.

“Whistle-blowing is an intelligent source of information for organisations to help identify malpractice, fraud and wrongdoing,” she contends.

Ms. Fawcett stressed that in implementing these arrangements, organisations must ensure the details are properly and thoroughly communicated and understood by all persons, while safeguarding the welfare of persons volunteering information.

She was quick to point out, however, that whistleblowing should be a last resort to deal with illicit issues arising.

“What you want is a well run, well governed organisation with strong ethical behaviour, and a strong culture. If you’ve got to resort to whistleblowing, then you haven’t got all your (affairs) in order,” she argued.

Other participants in the panel discussion included: Chairman, Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, Hon. Justice F. Algermon Smith; Legal Consultant, FSC, Amina Maknoon; and Acting Divisional Director, Auditor General’s Department, Delores Linton-Williams.