International Anti-Corruption Groups Join in Call for DOJ Whistleblower Program to Follow Best Practices


Since the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was engaging in a “90-day sprint” to develop a whistleblower awards program, whistleblower advocates in the U.S. have called on the DOJ to implement proven best practices for the program. Now anti-corruption groups from over twenty countries have joined in the call, noting that the program will have a massive transnational reach.

On May 13, a coalition of anti-corruption organizations from across the globe sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco outlining the four key elements they believe need to be implemented for the DOJ Whistleblower Program to be effective in the fight against corruption globally.

“We, the undersigned organizations, believe that a U.S. Department of Justice whistleblower rewards program has the potential to be instrumental to each of our anti-corruption efforts,” write the organizations, who are based in over twenty countries and work directly with whistleblowers and other anti-corruption actors.

“However, without careful consideration for the unique risks of international whistleblowers and without the implementation of the best-practice protocols identified above, this program could be damaging for international whistleblowers, and their catalytic role in transnational anti-corruption efforts,” the letter continues.

The four recommendations outlined in the letter are:

  1. Anonymous and Confidential Reporting Channels
  2. Mandatory Awards of 10-30% of Proceeds Collected
  3. Dedicated Whistleblower Office
  4. Eligibility Requirements Modeled off the SEC Whistleblower Program

According to the letter, these four elements are consistent with the United States Strategy on Countering Corruption, a “whole-of-government approach” to fighting corruption which sets forth clear mandates for U.S. agencies to support whistleblowers and other human rights defenders.

“We believe our recommendations would help the DOJ establish a program that works for whistleblowers across the globe and thus enables the DOJ to ‘stand in solidarity’ with whistleblowers and other anti-corruption activists,” the letter states.

The four recommendations called for by the international anti-corruption groups echo those previously made by other whistleblower advocates. For example, former SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee wrote an article outlining why these elements were critical to the success of the SEC Whistleblower Program and thus serve as a strong model for the DOJ.

National Whistleblower Center (NWC), which helped organize the letter, is calling on whistleblower supporters to join in urging the DOJ to follow proven best practices for its whistleblower award program. It has set up an Action Alert allowing individuals to write to the DOJ, as well as to Congress and the White House, explaining why these best practices are so essential and have proven to work for whistleblowers.

Read the Full Letter:

International Anti-Corruption Groups Send Letter Calling for Best Practices to be Implemented in DOJ Whistleblower Program


90 Day Policy Sprint for DOJ Whistleblower Rewards Program

Further Reading:

DOJ Must Listen to the Whistleblower Community in Developing Whistleblower Program

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