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Protect Urges Action Following National Audit Office's Whistleblowing Report

Protect Urges Action Following National Audit Office's Whistleblowing Report


UK whistleblowing charity, Protect, highlights gaps and urges reforms after National Audit Office's findings

Elizabeth Gardiner, CEO of Protect, the UK’s foremost whistleblowing charity, welcomed the National Audit Office's (NAO) report on whistleblowing within the civil service. The report emphasized the crucial role whistleblowers play in upholding good governance and stressed the necessity of challenging organizational practices for accountability.

The NAO report spotlighted an alarming statistic: only 52% of civil servants feel secure enough to challenge established practices, a lower figure than in the NHS. It underscored inconsistencies across government departments and deficiencies in data collection. Concerns were raised about slow responses to issues, inadequate actions taken, lack of monitoring victimization incidences, and failure to gather feedback from whistleblowers.

Protect highlighted its research findings, revealing that over half of government workers who sought advice experienced negative repercussions. The charity emphasized the need for improvements in whistleblowing processes, advocating that lessons should be learned from those speaking out.

As the UK's whistleblowing authority, Protect champions the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998's legal reform. They provide free and confidential legal counsel to whistleblowers and assist employers in establishing effective whistleblowing mechanisms. Since 1993, Protect has supported more than 50,000 whistleblowers and annually handles approximately 2,500 cases through its Advice Line.

With an eye on legal and policy reform, Protect's active lobbying seeks to draft new whistleblowing legislation to bolster protection for those courageously speaking up.