Whistleblowers need more protection, says Parliamentary Commission
Hywel Roberts, August 01, 2014
Whistleblowing staff are being failed by their employers and are often treated "shockingly", according to a statement released by the Commons Public Accounts Committee.
Its report found that there is an apparent disconnect between the Government's whistleblowing policies and the way whistleblowers are treated in reality.
The report also highlighted instances where people who have exposed wrongdoing in the past have been subjected to bullying and harassment.
One example cited was that of health regulator the Care Quality Commission. Non-executive director Kay Sheldon raised concerns over the level of care at Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation.
Sheldon gave evidence to the committee in which she said she felt "victimised" when she came forward. She accused the Government of drawing up secret files on her mental health in an attempt to discredit her.
Committee chair and Labour MP Margaret Hodge said that the poor treatment of whistleblowers meant employees have to show "remarkable courage" to come forward.
"Far too often whistleblowers have been shockingly treated, and departments have sometimes failed to protect them from being victimised," she said. "Civil servants should be given a route map of how to highlight issues, while the Cabinet Office should set out how it will ensure whistleblowing policy and practices receive the strong leadership they need."