Whistleblowing for Sustainable Value - NITAD

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Whistleblowing For Sustainable Value In Nigeria

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WHISTLEBLOWING FOR SUSTAINING VALUE Oyewole O. Sarumi |PhD|

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What You will Learn….  WhistleBlowing – Definitions  Types of Whistleblowing  When and How to Whistleblow  Criteria for Justifiable Whistleblowing  The Pros Cons of Whistleblowing  Whistleblowing Ethics  Whistleblowing Policy in Organisations  The Value of Whistleblowing  Case Studies  Whistleblowing Situations in Nigeria  Conclusion

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Opening Glee Quotes: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

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Whistle-blowing is…  raising concerns about misconduct within an organization or within an independent structure associated with it‘ Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life  bringing an activity to a sharp conclusion as if by the blast of a whistle‘ Oxford English Dictionary  giving information usually to the authorities about illegal and underhand practices‘ Chambers Dictionary

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Whistle-blowing is…  The release of information by a member or former employee of an organisation that is evidence of illegal and or immoral conduct in the organisation or conduct in the organisation.  Whistle Blowing can only be done by an member in the organisation not a witness of a crime or a reporter.

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Types of Whistle blowing  Internal Whistle blowing  is made to someone within the organization.  Personal Whistle blowing  is blowing the whistle on the offender  here the charge is not against the organization or system but against one individual  External Whistle Blowing  For an external issue not directly affecting one as an individual

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When to Blow the Whistle  Knowledge of inappropriateness  Making proprietary software available to public  Back door/booby-trap in code  Embezzlement or redirection of funds  Bad claims  Unrealistic date projection  Advertising hype  Knowledge of impending doom

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How to Blow the Whistle  Do it anonymously  let the evidence speak for itself and protect yourself if possible  Do it in a group  charges have more weight and won’t seem like a personal vendetta.  Present just the evidence  leave interpretation of facts to others.

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How to Blow the Whistle  Work through internal channels  Start with your immediate supervisor or follow the standard reporting procedure  Work through external channels  go public biggest risk

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CRITERIA FOR JUSTIFIABLE WHISTLE BLOWING

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Criteria for Justifiable Whistle Blowing  The firm through its product or policy will do serious and considerable harm to the public whether in the person of the user of its product an innocent bystander or the general public.  Once an employee identifies a serious threat to the user of a product or to the general public he or she should report it to his or her immediate superior and make his or her moral concern known. Unless he or she does so the act of Whistle blowing is not justifiable.

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Criteria for Justifiable Whistle Blowing  If ones immediate superior does nothing effective about the concern or complaint the employee should exhaust the internal procedures and possibilities within the firm  This usually will involve taking the matter up the managerial ladder and if necessary and possible to the Board of Directors.

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Criteria for Justifiable Whistle Blowing  In addition  Whistleblower must have accessible documented evidence  that would convince a reasonable impartial observer that ones view of the situation is correct  and that the companys product or practice posses a serious and likely danger to the public or to the user of the product.

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Criteria for Justifiable Whistle Blowing  In addition  The employee must have good reason to believe that by going public the necessary changes will be brought about.  The chance of being successful must be worth the risk one takes and danger to which one is exposed.

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But then why is it so difficult

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Ethical Dilemma…1  The Mum Effect --reluctance to blow the whistle  Audit report may contradict the best judgment and vested interests of the powerful players backing a project fear of reprisals

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Ethical Dilemma…2  The Deaf Effect --reluctance to hear the whistle  “ I wrote lots of reports. I escalated things as much as I could but in the end they said ‘We really appreciate your efforts but thanks but no thanks’”

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Ethical Dilemma…3  The Blind Effect --reluctance to see the need to blow the whistle  Established audit functions do not operate effectively because they try to conceal the information from management

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Moral Dilemma  Many questions arise: Who to tell Responsibility Process  Moral Distress: Discomfort Cant sleep stress

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Internal Reporting….  Hitting a brick wall:  Supervisors response  Threats  Intimidation  Isolation/fear  Career risk  Job loss/demotion  Reputation risk  Health concern  Financial consequences

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Fear Doubt  Will I be viewed as a “rat” who ratted out the company  I will be resented by my colleagues  Stress could lead to resorting to drinking self-destructive behaviour  If I lose this job what will my family do  What if “those” guys find out and harm me

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Statistics  Polling Group:  233 individuals polled 40 responded  Average age : 47  Employed for 6.5 years at job  Almost all lost job Source: http://legacy.ncsu.edu/CSC379/lectures/wk16/lecture.html  Positive Effects:  20 felt their actions resulted in positive changes  More than 50 of responders would do it again  Negative Effects:  51 of gov’t employees lost their job  82 harassed by superiors  69 watched closely after blowing the whistle  63 lost job responsibilities  60 fired  10 attempted suicide

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Responsibility  Who is responsible  Institution  Employees  How can the employees be held responsible if they are not educated in the institution’s expectations

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Warning Signs  If someone tells you…  • “Well maybe just this once…”  • “No one will ever know..”  • “It doesn’t matter how it gets done as long as it gets done.”  • “It sounds too good to be true.”  • “Everyone does it.”  • “Shred the document.”  • “We can hide it.”  • “No one will get hurt.”  • “We didn’t have this conversation.”

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Whistleblowing Benefits  Stopping Fraud Saves  Faith in the Justice System  Concern for Public Safety  Faith in Institution  Ethical Standards

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Benefits to Organisations  Increased shareholders confidence.  Enhances corporate social responsibility.  Protects everyone’s interest.  Exposure to risk reduced.  Prevents injuries and ensuring legal action.

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Whistleblowing Is Effective  The workforce is a powerful ally  Encourage comfort in raising issues  Protection is essential  Credibility: respond quickly  Marketing—post statistics Source: N. Baker “See no evil hear no evil speak no evil: Effective whistleblower programs encourage employees who witness company wrongdoing to speak out rather than look the other way” Internal Auditor April 2008

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So what can companies do  Lawyers and ombudsman point to these measures:  First legislate so that whistle blowing has a sound legal basis.  Two companies must ensure that those who come forward are not persecuted and the matters are investigated promptly.  Similarly the government must also set up mechanisms to ensure speedy disposal of claims. If they could set up information officers under the Right to Information Act they can do the same in this case as well.  And lastly companies must ensure that whistle blowers arent persecuted.

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The Pros of Whistleblowing  Public safety - One of the principle reasons to blow the whistle on illegal or unethical activities is to protect the public colleagues or others from risk.  Moral responsibility - Blowing the whistle out of a sense of moral obligation is generally regarded as the best reason to do so.

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Cons of Whistleblowing  Retaliation - One of the primary disadvantages of blowing the whistle is the potential retaliation you face from management and colleagues.  Conflicts of Interest - For many potential whistle- blowers the conflict of interest between serving ones company co-workers and friends and protecting the public is very real and challenging.

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In a recent study by Griffith University it was reported that over 38 of employees witnessed wrongdoing in the workplace and decided not to report due to a lack of belief “anything would be done about it”.

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YouGov and charity organisation Public Concern at Work found that 22 percent of the 2017 adults surveyed feared retaliation for whistleblowing.

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Whistle-blowing policy….. A whistle blowing policy encourages staff to speak out if they have legitimate concerns about wrongdoings as distinct from individual grievances and establishes an accessible procedure for doing so.

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When is Whistle-blowing ethical When the employee identifies a serious threat of harm he or she should report it and state his or her moral concern. The employee must have documented evidence that is convincing to a reasonable impartial observer that his or her view of the situation is accurate and evidence that the firm’s practice product or policy seriously threatens and puts in danger the public or product user.

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The employee must have valid reasons to believe that revealing the wrongdoing to the public will result in the changes necessary to remedy the situation.

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When is Whistle-blowing unethical Whistle-blowing must be questioned if: Motivation is the opportunity for financial gain or media attention Employee is carrying out a vendetta against the company  Key point – better be very sure of your facts and your evidence better be irrefutable before blowing the whistle

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Arguments against Whistle Blower Protection  Firstly Law recognises whistle blowing as a right is open to abuse: Employees might find an excuse to blow the whistle in order to cover up their own incompetency or inadequate performance.  Secondly - Legislation to protect whistle blowers could add on rights to employees and make an environment difficult for managers to run company effectively.

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Arguments for Whistle Blower Protection  Firstly - Defence of the Law protect whistle blowers to provide best contributions to the society.  Secondly - Defence of the Law supports the right of an employee on his freedom to speech

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Benefits And Danger Of Company Whistle Blowing Policy  Benefit in learning mistakes and problems in early stage itself.  Shows companies commitment towards good ethics and ethical corporate climate.  Legitimate complaints sends wrong signal to other employees to whistle blow in case of tension or strike.  Employee may go outside of normal communication channel which is undesirable. BENEFITS DANGERS

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Components Of Whistle- Blowing Policy in Organizations  1. An effective communicated statement of responsibility  2. A clear defined procedure of reporting  3. Well trained personal to receive and investigate reports.  4. A commitment to take appropriate action.  5. A guarantee against retaliation-reports in good faith.

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WHAT ARE THE VALUE OF WHISTLEBLOWING

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Is Whistleblowing Valuable  A Whistleblower program shows your commitment to develop a ‘speak up’ culture that values employees. The tone is set at the top – illegal behaviour and wrongdoing will not be tolerated.

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Benefits/Value of Whistleblowing  Strengthen corporate governance by bringing transparency to the fore.

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1. EFFECTIVE RISK MANAGEMENT  The early reporting of inappropriate conduct including bullying in the workplace fraud corruption bribery work health and safety and sexual harassment can reduce eliminate financial and reputation risk.

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2. CURTAILING WORKPLACE BULLYING  Employees are your greatest asset however employee misconduct can be our greatest liability. So Inappropriate workplace behaviour and in particular bullying is a growing concern in the workplace that WB can help curtail.

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3. FRAUD DETECTION  The 2014 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners ACFE found typical organisations lose 5 of its annual revenue to fraud.  The median duration — the amount of time from when the fraud commenced until it was detected — for the fraud cases reported was 18 months. The ACFE concluded tip offs from employees being consistently and by far the most common detection method.

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4. CORPORATE CULTURE  The tone is set at the top.  Successful whistleblowing policies require leadership from the Board CEO audit committee directors officers and management.  In a recent four year study by Griffith University into how organisations can help maintain their integrity and value their employees the two key messages were:  An organisation can and should adopt a policy of ‘when in doubt report’ to encourage the reporting of wrongdoing.  Organisations need to improve their performance in supporting and protecting persons who come forward with reports of wrongdoing.

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5. GOOD CORPORATE GOVERNANCE  Strengthen corporate governance by bringing transparency to the fore.  It’s important for us to have a sound corporate governance system supported by policies and procedures that comply with the Standards.

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6. COMPANY AND COMPANY OFFICERS PROTECTION  Liability for failing to provide adequate protection to a company and its officers now extends beyond damage to brand and image to substantially increased penalties and fines to the company and to imprisonment and substantial fines for Directors Officers and Managers.

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7. WORKPLACE SAFETY  Occupational health and safety management for employees customers and visitors is covered by a myriad of laws and regulations.  The development and implementation of an appropriate occupational health and safety management framework includes effective reporting of concerns to the management along with an external facility to report concerns anonymously.

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8. SECURE COMPANY EQUIPMENT  The most important asset to a Company are its people.  The second most important asset is its capital including equipment. Personal safety and protection of company equipment is of critical importance in any workplace for a company employees customers and visitors.

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How to Create a “Speak Up” Culture—From the Top Down  So how do you create a proactive culture of ethics and compliance from the top down According to Mary Bennett vice president of NAVEX Global’s Advisory Services team taking the following five steps can make a significant difference:  Communicate to your employees managers and other key stakeholders such as third parties to ensure they understand their duty to report and provide assurance against retaliation.  Reinforce the message across multiple channels including posters in break rooms screen savers and other awareness-raising campaigns.  Integrate your commitment to a speak-up culture into all aspects of employee life from periodic policy reviews to informal discussions at team meetings.  Train your stakeholders regularly to bring whistleblowing and anti-retaliation policies to life and ensure that everyone understands your policies.  Review your programme regularly to ensure that your employees are reporting incidents through policy management software and that management is responding to these issues in an appropriate way.

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 “Effective whistleblowing arrangements are a key part of good governance. A healthy and open culture is one where people are encouraged to speak out confident that they can do so without adverse repercussions confident that they will be listened to and confident that appropriate action will be taken. This is to the benefit of organisations individuals and society as a whole. Report by the Whistleblowing Commission 2013

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CASE STUDY - CHALLENGER

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Case Study: Challenger  January 28 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 72 seconds into its flight killing all 7 crew members.  The flight received much media attention because a teacher Christa McAuliffe was on board.

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Challenger: What Went Wrong  Explosion caused by O-ring failure between segments of the booster rockets.  Several employees of the manufacturer Thiokol had been aware of the O-ring deficiencies.  No one listened to the engineers who knew about the problem

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Challenger: Major Players  Roger Boisjoly seal specialist at Thiokol - Directed task force for a year to study the evidence that hot gases eroded O-rings  Allan McDonald manager of solid-rocket motor program  Larry Mulloy NASA official manager of booster programs  George Hardy NASA official

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Challenger: Timeline  July 31 1985  Boisioly wrote a memo saying “it is my honest and very real fear that if we do not take immediate action to solve the problem the company could stand in jeopardy of losing a flight.”  No conclusive evidence to back up memo

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Challenger: Timeline  January 27 1986 the day before lift-off  McDonald was worried about temperatures dropping to 22 degrees overnight.  14 engineers “fought like hell” to get permission to present to NASA  All 14 Thiokol engineers recommended postponing the launch  Mulloy and Hardy challenged the recommendation  Mulloy: “When do you want me to launch next April”  Hardy: recommendation “appalled” him  Thiokol: Management reversed the recommendation for postponement

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Challenger: Timeline  After the explosion  McDonald  Went public  Demoted by management  Public outcry and Congressional investigation led to a reversal of that decision and a promotion instead  Became spokesman for Thiokol and new rocket boosters

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Challenger: Timeline  Boisjoly  “I hope and pray that I have not risked my job and family security by being honest in my conviction”  Never worked on a shuttle again because it was too painful  Wondered if there was more he could have done even though the record shows he minced no words  Reassigned by management with altered responsibilities  Took leave of absence a year later went on disability

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Challenger: Timeline  Later Repercussions  Boisjoly sued Thiokol for 1 billion in personal suit  Dismissed because Thiokol’s actions were ruled not to have been designed to cause him distress  Biosjoly sued Thiokol for 2 billion under False Claims Act  Filed on premise that Thiokol falsely certified safety and knew that the rockets they supplied to NASA were defective  Dismissed in 1988: Judge ruled that decision to launch was not a false claim but an engineering judgment with which other engineers disagreed and that NASA also knew the facts behind the allegations and was not deceived

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Challenger: Questions  What effects did Boisjoly and McDonald face when they blew the whistle  Why did NASA not listen to the engineers  Why did Thiokol to reverse its decision even though they knew it was incorrect  Would you have blown the whistle differently than Boisjoly and McDonald If so how  Did McDonald go public at the right time

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Case Study- Satyendra Dubey  The Golden Quadrilateral Delhi Mumbai Kolkotta Chennai...  the end of the road for Satyendra Dubey.

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Case Study- Satyendra Dubey  A 31 year old IIT – Kanpur Civil Engineering graduate.  Employee of National Highways Authority of India.  Assigned Prime Minister’s pet project – The Golden Quadrilateral to connect the four corners of India.  Was posted at Koderma Jharkhand as project director he would be in charge of releasing funds for an extensive swathe of the under-construction highway.

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Findings in the Golden Quadrilateral Project  Sloppy project reports  Contracts awarded on basis of forged documents  Huge advances doled out to contractors  Rampant subletting to petty contractors who lacked the technical ability to work on this mega-project Dubey discovered that the contracted firm Larsen Toubro had been subcontracting the actual work to smaller low- technology groups controlled by the local mafia.  Everyone from Govt. engineers to MNC construction companies to local thugs seemed involved in “LOOT OF PUBLIC MONEY”

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What did Dubey do  Wrote a letter to his boss NHAI Project Director SK Soni and to Brig Satish Kapoor engineer overlooking the supervision there was no action.  Wrote a letter to the PM  Dubey also sent the same letter to the chairman of NHAI.  Mr. Dubey anticipated trouble and wrote a second letter again requesting anonymity but was ignored.

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The Blind/Deaf Effect  The PMO didn’t bother either to investigate  For in an act of murderous negligence the PMO handed over both the letter and the sheet with Satyendra’s particulars to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.  At least eight officials scanned it before passing it on to the National Highway Authority of India.

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Whistle Blowing Murder  In 2003 Dubey was found dead in Gaya… 

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Today…  Almost 50000 citizens have signed a petition demanding action from the government  The media is closely monitoring the twists and turns taken by an increasingly bizarre investigation  As for the GQ project Supreme Court is still investigating

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 Many individuals have exemplified Whistle Blowing…  2002: Year of the Whistleblower  Cynthia Cooper WorldCom  Coleen Rowley FBI  Sherron Watkins Enron

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Sherron Watkins  Former Vice President of Enron Corporation  Alerted then-CEO Ken Lay in August 2001 to accounting irregularities within the company  Warned that Enron might implode in a wave of accounting scandals.  Testified before Congressional Committees from the House and Senate investigating Enrons demise.  Lauded in the press for her courageous actions but left her job at Enron after a few months when she wasnt given much to do

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Coleen Rowley  FBI staff attorney  Wrote 13-page memo to FBI Director about pre-9/11 intelligence in May 2002  Testified for the Senate Judiciary Committee  Concerned the FBI was becoming more bureaucratic and micromanaged  Helped government focus on better intelligence management

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Cynthia Cooper  WorldCom’s Director of Internal Audit  Her team discovered 3 billion in questionable expenses  Met with 4 executives to track down and explain the undocumented expenses  Disclosed findings WorldCom stock frozen corporate credit rating went from B+ to CCC-  Remained as VP of Internal Audit not promoted no gratitude resented by employees

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 In 2014 World stood still with a shocking revelation from a computer analyst Edward Snowden.  A computer analyst whistleblower who exposed top-secret NSA documents leading to revelations about US surveillance on phone and internet communications. Edward Snowden

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During the time where “free internet” rights of a “netizen” “internet security” were hot topic for debates this kind of news and revelations created huge storm to the Government and trust worthiness of citizens of the country. Government and authorities even the President himself appeared for an explanation to this incident. Even with much efforts government has retrieved its falling name and trust of its citizens. As subject of controversy Snowden is variously called as a “traitor” “hero” a whistleblower and even as “patriot”. For some he is a traitor who worked for Dell broke the country’s security code to retrieve classified information. For some he is a hero who is courages enough to pull those ‘black loops’ of the government and Nations Security Intelligence. His US Passport has been cancelled and he fled to Russia for granting asylum. At present he is in Moscow with a temporary 1 year asylum.

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Dilemma  1. Is Edward Snowden who is an employee under Dell Computer exposed the classified information to public media against the government authorities and law a “corporate traitor”  2. Is Edward Snowden who revealed a corporate crime that remind the public about the so called “internet security” veil is so transparent even the authority can bypass through security access of public. By this Act do he resembles a “patriot” who stood for public interest

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My View Towards The Case Study  We like to be in favor of Act done by the Edward Snowden because the real victim of the issue wasn’t Edward Snowden himself but the general public if such an crime isn’t exposed the public would be unaware of cyber crime or related corporate crime they would be exploited. In other terms we like to believe him as patriot than a traitor.

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Whistleblowing – Nigeria case studies

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GUIDELINES FOR WHISTLE BLOWING FOR BANKS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA.  Efforts have been made to curtail bad practices and serious wrongdoings within the Nigerian banking system. These efforts are evident within some statutory provisions3 but primarily the Guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN in 2012.  These Guidelines consider how best to promote good corporate governance and directs banks and non-financial institutions to implement policies to facilitate the whistleblowing framework.

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 While it would be unjust to disregard this effort the CBN Guidelines fall short of offering a robust mechanism to protect the whistleblowers themselves. The Guidelines offer no internal mechanisms or procedures to cater to a whistleblower in the event that their identity is exposed.

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 This means there is still a chance that the whistleblower may report an incident and remain unprotected. This further illustrates that there are no strong measures in place to ensure that the whistleblower will not face a serious disciplinary sanction unfair dismissal or suffer discrimination from their employers.

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 In 2012 the CBN issued Guidelines for banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria. The Guidelines were created to provide stakeholders and employees with the opportunity to report acts that may constitute a fraud unlawful behaviour or a failure to comply with bank related directives.  The aim of the Guidelines is therefore to encourage and further uphold good corporate governance practices and in doing so also maintain consumer confidence.

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 The Whistleblowing Guidelines also provide that the Board of Directors of banks and other financial institutions are required to implement a whistleblowing system and additionally set up a policy for stakeholders and employees.

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 Section 4.0 of the Guidelines provides that the anonymity of the whistleblower needs to be ensured. This section also provides that ‘no bank or financial institution shall subject a whistleblower to dismissal redundancy termination undue influence duress withholding of benefits and any other act that may have a negative impact on the whistleblower.’

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 However whilst the Guidelines provide this protection for whistleblowers it fails to provide recourse in the case that a whistleblower faces any of the above challenges.

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ICAN N50 million Whistleblower Protection Fund  In the absence of a culture of whistleblowing in public or private sectors of the economy the N50 million Whistleblower Protection Fund established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria ICAN is laudable and deserves the support of all stakeholders in the difficult battle against vices such as fraud corruption and mismanagement. Culled from: The Citizen Ng

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 The Fund is aimed at protecting ICAN members and the public from any reprisals or victimization in the event of an alarm raised. It is supposed to assist whistleblowers in litigation expenses reasonably incurred and to assist members of the institute in the discharge of duties Culled from: The Citizen Ng

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UAC OF NIGERIA - Whistle Blowing Policy  Objective of Whistle Blowing Policy The objective of this policy is to encourage everyone whether part ‐time or full time employees agents contractors suppliers staff of suppliers customers or people however remotely related to the company to report any business misconduct without risk to themselves or any inhibition or victimisation. Appropriate incentives will be offered to a whistle ‐blower whose action significantly promotes the Company’s interests.

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Lawyers Advocate Whistleblowers In Nigeria Legal System  Some Legal Practitioners in the Federal Capital Territory FCT and Mararaba in Nasarawa State have advocated enactment of a law to legalise whistleblowers in the country’s legal system.  Mr Umar Abdullahi told NAN that having whistleblowers in the country’s legal system would check and regulate excesses in the system. Abdullahi said a whistleblower would help the system because people would be cautious. Also Mr Luka Haruna said enshrining whistle-blowing in the legal system would open up the space in the administration of justice in Nigeria. Source: http://leadership.ng/news/494704/lawyers-advocate-whistleblowers-nigeria-legal-system

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Sanusi The Whistleblower And The Nigerian Laws  When the suspended CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi “blown the lid off a monumental scandal” in which the sum of 20000000000.00 was alleged to disappeared from the public treasury many Nigerians vowed that this was over.  He was later charged for fraud and other related offences to silence him.

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The Position of Nigerian Legislation  At present there is no specific legislation that directly deals with whistleblowing. In the event that a person wants to whistleblow protection for the identification of whistleblowers can be found in S.39 1 of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004 and S.64 1 Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

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 However if the identify is for any reason compromised there is no system in place which offer further protection. These are similar challenges as presented by the CBN Guidelines discussed earlier.  The implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Bill is therefore highly welcomed.

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 As at the time of this conference there is no provision either in an Act of National Assembly or a Law of any state expressly protecting whistleblowers either in the public or private sectors in Nigeria.  It is high time therefore Nigeria gets its own whistleblower protection legislation just like South Africa Japan and the US where whistleblowers are even rewarded and celebrated and cannot not be dismissed victimized prosecuted or ‘sacked’ by their employer.

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 There are two bills before the National Assembly seeking to protect disclosures made in public interest and whistleblowers as at May 2004.  The bills have not been passed into law. The first bill is captioned “WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION BILL 2008” H.B. 117. It seeks to provide for the manner in which individuals may in the public interest disclose information that related to unlawful or other illegal conduct or corrupt practices of others and to provide for the protection against victimization of persons who make these disclosures. Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon sponsored the bill.

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 In 2012 A BILL that seeks to protect persons who expose corrupt practices in the country scaled its second reading in the House of Representatives.  Sponsored by Hon. Karimi Sunday Steve representing Yagba Federal Constituency in Kogi State the bill has been passed to the House Committee on Justice for further legislative deliberations.

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 According to Karimi the major objectives of the proposed law include ensuring “that a patriot or whistleblower is protected in law for making disclosures that he/she does not suffer any form of discrimination or victimisation that persons authorised to receive disclosure keep it confidential and take requisite action to assist the investigation or stop the improper act and encourage whistleblowers as they are paid from the whistleblower fund.”

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 The second bill which is the most recent is captioned SAFEGUARDED DISCLOSURE WHISTLE BLOWERS SPECIAL PROVISIONS ETC. BILL 2009 H.B 167. It seeks to make provision for the procedure in terms of which persons employed in the public and private sectors may disclose information regarding unlawful and other irregular practices and conduct in workplace and to provide protection against any occupational detriment or reprisals of a person making such disclosures. The bill has been sponsored by Honorable John Halims Agoda.

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Mr. Nicholas Edwards Odyssey into Whistleblowing  The level of profligacy in the public sector as exposed by one Mr. Nicholas Edwards a staff in the Ministry of Aviation has brought to the fore the importance of whistle-blower’s in Nigeria. The Achilles heel of whistle-blowing in Nigeria is the absence of laws guiding whistle-blowing and guarding whistle-blowers. This might be one of the reasons Mr. Edwards who is considered as the “aviation ministry Edward Snowden” has been on the run since the report got to the public domain.

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WHISTLEBLOWER IN DANGER WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION ALERT FOR MR. AARON KAASE  Mr Aaron Kaase is a public officer with Nigeria’s Police Service Commission PSC with a principled opposition to systemic fraud and abuse of office in public life. His stance led to a plot of persecution at work and human rights violations including frivolous criminal prosecution based on manufactured narratives aimed at silencing him after he blew the whistle to reveal serious allegations of possible fraud in the PSC involving the Chairman and Nigeria’s former Inspector-General of Police Mr. Mike Okiro.

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Whistleblower Protection  Whistleblower protection is generally not a new concept. In the UK for instance there is the Public Interest Protection Act 1998 which provides a framework of legal protection for individuals who disclose information so as to expose malpractice.  In Jamaica there is the Protected Disclosures Act 2011 which is based on the UK’s Public Interest Disclosure Act and protects whistleblowers in both private and public sectors. A similar law is also in South Africa Ghana and Uganda.

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The 5 Laws President Buhari Will Use in Fighting Corruption  VANGUARD reports that Presidency sources disclosed that a committee of legends in law led by the Vice- President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo identified the five bills which have been passed on to the President for further scrutiny.  The bills which may become law for the anti-corruption fight include:  Office of the Financial Ombudsman Bill 2015  National Convicts and Criminal Records Bill 2015  Electronics Transactions Bill 2015  Whistle Blower Protection Bill 2015  Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill 2015

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Conclusion  If Nigerians are really out to fix the problems that bedevil the country we must think out of the box and look out for more stringent measures in fighting corruption as desperate times call for desperate measures.  It is time to join other forward looking nation and pass the Whistleblowing Bill into law as FOI Bill cannot fully compensate for this lack in our polity.

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ACTION PLAN – THINGS TO DO  There is hardly a sector that hasn’t been touched by a scandal which staff already knew about beforehand. That’s exactly why I will suggest that people of like minds join me after this conference to set up an NGO to be called “Public Concern at Workplace” PCaWP because we have witnessed in this country series of disasters and scandals where it was clear staff had known about the risk or danger but either were too scared to speak up or had spoken up only to be ignored.

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 All organisations face the risk of unknowingly harbouring malpractice and so should understand that it is in their own best interests to know about risk danger and malpractice. Staff are the eyes and ears of an organisation and so it makes sense for them to think about how they encourage staff to speak up. At the same time they need to recognise that it can sometimes be difficult to speak up especially where it’s about pointing out that someone has behaved badly and that can be an uncomfortable thing to do.

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Whistleblower’s Credo “In theory anyone who speaks out in the name of the public good within an organization is a whistleblower.”

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Julian Assange Quotes:  “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance cant lead to a good conclusion.”  “Large newspapers are routinely censored by legal costs. It is time this stopped. It is time a country said enough is enough justice must be seen history must be preserved and we will give shelter from the storm.”  “Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior.”

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But the question is… Do you have the courage to blow the Whistle

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-A Campaign Ad

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Attributions  Daniel Ellsberg Secrets:A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers New York: Viking Penguin 2002.  C.F.Alford Whistleblower: Broken Lives and Organizational Power Cornell University Press NY 2001.  A.B. Joy Whistleblower Bay Tree Publish CA 2010.  A.S. Kesselheim D.M. Studdert M.M. Mello. Whistle- Blowers’experiences in fraud litigation against pharmaceutical companies NEngJMed 362:1832-1838 May 13 2010.  Amy Block Joy Ph.D. A Whistleblower’s Case Study Blowing The Whistle On Fraud At The University of California SCCE Compliance Ethics Institute 2012  Shahzad Khan. Whitleblower. Culled from www.slideshare.com  Oyewole Sarumi. Whistle Blowing in the Public Private Sectors. Culled from www.authorstreams.com

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References Further Readings  Samar Srivastava. Sound legal basis key to facilitate whistle blowinghttp://www.firstpost.com/business/sound-legal-basis-key-to- facilitate-whistle-blowing-792143.html  Callahan Elletta Sangrey and Terry Morehead Dworkin. 1992. "Do Good and Get Rich: Financial Incentives for Whistleblowing and the False Claims Act." Villanova Law Review 37.  Helmer James B. 2002. False Claims Act: Whistleblower Litigation. 3 d ed. Charlottesville Va.: LexisNexis.  Kelly James. 2002. "The Year of the WhistleBlowers." Time Decemb er 30.  Whistleblowing: A Federal Employees Guide to Charges Proceduresan d Penalties. 2000. Reston Va.: Federal Employees News Digest.

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 Fola Adeyemo. Whistle Blowing: The Position of Nigerian Legislation in Banking. Journal of Law Policy and Globalization ISSN 2224- 3240 Paper ISSN 2224-3259 Online Vol.41 2015 www.iiste.org.  Guidelines For Whistle Blowing For Banks And Other Financial Institutions In Nigeria. KPMG Newsletter December 2014  The case for whistleblowers – The Guardian. Culled from: http://thecitizenng.com/  Ibrahim Sule. Sanusi The Whistleblower And The Nigerian Laws. http://saharareporters.com/2014/03/10/  Idowu Babajide. Opinion: The role of the whistle-blower in Nigeria – To be or not to be http://ynaija.com November 30 2013  Whistleblower Bill Scales Second Reading. Culled from http://www.informationng.com/2012/05/

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 Daniel Kline. Hear it From Employees First: Why Managers Should Encourage Whistleblowers. From http://www.navexglobal.com/blog/2014/06/11/

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