KNAB suggests introducing legal protection for “whistleblowers”
The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has elaborated a draft concept on legal framework regarding “whistleblowers” – those public officials who report on possible conflict of interest situations within their institutions.
Having analysed the current state of conflict of interest prevention, the working group has concluded that at present, law enforcement bodies have the main role in controlling and in monitoring of public officials’ conflict of interest situations. Thus, only partially are used internal control possibilities in prevention of conflicts of interest within public institutions. Majority of information on possible conflict of interest situations is obtainable within these public institutions. Therefore, measures aimed at prevention of conflicts of interest are to be taken at these institutions, which would allow to avoid more sever consequences.
In order to promote greater activity of public officials in reporting on conflict of interest situations known to them at their workplace, KNAB suggests introducing a clearly stipulated obligation to every public official to report on possible conflict of interest situations and other corruptive offences involving officials and employees of a respective institution. In these cases the necessary legal protection would be provided in order to prevent any adverse consequences for those officials who have provided this information.
Simultaneously new obligations and liability for heads of state and municipality institutions are foreseen regarding legal protection of these whistleblowers.
KNAB considers that by introducing an obligation of public officials to report and by providing them legal protection corruption risks would decrease, as well as more effectively activities of public officials would be controlled and conflict of interest situations would be prevented. Controlling institutions will receive more information on corruption facts; violations will be detected and prevented more quickly. Otherwise material damages to the state or municipality interests can be done in a form of administrative or even criminal offence.