PNG needs whistleblower legislation

Letters, Normal

The National – Thursday, March 31, 2011

I REFER to your report about the allegations made by a sacked whistleblower which implicated executive managers of the De­partment of Health (March 28).
There is a dire need for a legislation to protect disclosures by whistleblowers.
A similar argument, although more delicate, can also be made to place a similar obligation on the private sector.
Provided that such disclosures are made in accordance with the requirements of the legislation, the employee disclosing information should be entitled to certain protections against reprisal – including protection against disciplinary action being taken by an employer.
Whistleblower legislation in the UK, Australia and New Zea­land applies to disclosures concerning “serious wrongdoing”, which broadly relates to significant matters such as unlawful use of public funds, actions that might endanger public health or would constitute an offence, and actions of a public official that are indicative of gross mismanagement.
There is no doubt that whistleblower legislation is relevant to the fight against corruption.
PNG is a party to the United Nations convention against corruption (UNCAC) and the country has an obligation to consider the implementation of such measures under Article 33 of UNCAC which states: “Each state party shall consider into its domestic legal system appropriate measures to provide protection against any unjustified treatment for any person who reports in good faith any facts concerning offences.”
It is time we act.


Deni Tokunai
New Zealand