Should whistleblowing be encouraged in the public service 5
Shouldwhistleblowing be encouraged in the public service
Whistleblowingis the practise of identifying malpractices and acts that contradictpolicies that have been stipulated by an organisation (Burke et al,2013). Whistleblowingentails releasing information by a current or former employee anorganization (DevineT. 2011).
Whistleblowingoccurs when an employee informs the public of inappropriateactivities going on inside the organization. Theperson who carries out the task of whistleblowing is known as awhistleblower. Awhistleblower is as a person who reveals any wrong doing that aretaking place in a public service. Majority of the whistleblowers willopt to inform their supervisors or the senior management, while otherwill seek help from the members of the public.A whistleblower majorly exposes corruption and falsehood and normallyhas no self interest in the issue being raised. A whistleblowercan be an employee or a former employee. Whistleblowersare brave and courageous persons, people who are confident, peoplewho are responsible, they are willing to speak out and want to beheard, their concerns are anchored on ethical values andresponsibilities. Whistleblowers should be emulated as they arehighly idealistic people, people who have the courage to exposemalpractices at the workplace/public sectors they are idealist. Aperson’s principles and moral standing are reasons why fraud andanomalies in any public sector should be exposed (Brown,A. J., 2008).
Thevarious reasons for whistle blowing include misuse of official fundsfor private purposes by individuals in an organisation, misuse ofofficial powers for private gain, discrimination either by age, race,or sex, corruption/fraud, dumping of industrial waste causingpollution to the public, non-enforcement of laws within theorganisation or biasness in the implementation of laws to favourcertain individuals over others and adulteration or sexual harassmentwithin the organisation which in most cases are misinterpreted andnot the real reasons behind blowing the whistle (Burkeet al, 2013).
Fora whistleblowing policy to be successful in any public sector ororganisation, it calls for a safe alternative for employees to reportany serious concerns. Whistle blowing in any public service poses asa threat to the life of the person blowing the whistle.Whistleblowing also calls for one to have courage as standing up forprinciples can be a punishing experience. As much as there should belaws put in place to protect whistleblowers from counter attacks,people especially those in top management levels who feel threatenedby the revelations can threaten exclude the whistleblower or evenforcing him or her out of public office. Whistleblowing should beembraced by organisations, both private and public companies as a keysource of information that could point-out risks, fraud or corruptionat the workplace (DevineT. 2011).
Someof the ways in which whistleblowing can benefit an organisationinclude every organisation calls for and values honesty from andamong all its employees. Honesty in an organisation often leads tototal dedication to the organization’s mission. Transparency in anyorganisation comes about when there is the existence of awhistleblowing policy that encourages the culture of effective andclear communication when one is faced with suspicious activity orwrongdoing. Addressing problems is seen as the ultimate goal for boththe employees and their employers (Burke et al, 2013). Anorganisation’s ability to examine areas of potential damage and tolisten to its staff translates to issues and concerns been promptlyaddressed(Brown,A. J., 2008).
However,the disadvantages of whistleblowing are more profound. In anorganisation whistleblowing includes the fact that it may be used astool for harassment. Whistleblowing is most often than not used as atool for revenge. In some places it is escalated to destroyreputation of certain individuals and if this is unchecked and aproper background is not done then whistleblowing can be used tomaliciously tarnish the reputation of the one being accusedconsidering that the issue will be made public. Whistleblowing cancreate mistrust within the organization and amongst the employees orbetween the employers and their sub-ordinates and this in itsentirely affects the output of the organization. This demoralizesemployees and creates a dominant world of spying. Whistleblowinggenerally creates an atmosphere of distrust within the agency (Brown,A. J., 2008).
Anorganisation should come up with a policywhich protects the whistleblower on how to go about reporting illegalor unethical practices to avoid harassment of the whistleblowers.This policy should essentially include formal mechanisms forreporting violations, such as hotlines and mailboxes, clearcommunications about the process of speaking out on matters that aredeemed wrongful and finally there should be clear communication onbans on retaliation. When a whistle has been blown the managementshould take it upon itself to follow through with a proper andconclusive investigation before alerting everyone (DevineT. 2011).
Inconclusion, it is evidently clear from the discussion above thatwhistleblowing is an aspect that should not encouraged in the publicservice. This in light of the various disadvantages associated withthe practice. It is clear that a success whistleblowing practicerequires mechanisms that will eliminate misconduct and fraud whichnormally compromise the practice of whistleblowing. Whistleblowingcan easily regenerate into a disaster in an organization when peoplefail to focus on the goals set by the organization. Therefore, it isessential to strictly comply with the laid down communicationprocedures with regard to whistleblowing while keeping in mind thegoals of the organization.
Q1.Is whistleblowing more important in the public service than inprivate organisations?
Whistleblowingis important to both private organisations and public service as anyorgan that is rendering services to people needs to have zerotolerance to fraud and wrongdoings. However, it is important that thewhistle is heard by the relevant authority and appropriate action toensure to ensure accountability and transparency within both thepublic service and the private organisations.
Q2.How might one measure the positive and negative effects of whistleblowing?
Onecan measure the positive effects of whistleblowing by looking at theaction taken by the relevant authorities. If the person vindicatedwith the wrongdoing or fraud is prosecuted then it means that thewhistleblowing policies put in place are in fact active. If theperson vindicated is not prosecuted and in fact maybe they are stillserving in the same position or even have been promoted, then itmeans that the whistleblowing policy is not active, rather it is justa piece of paper.
Brown,A. J. (2008). Whistleblowingin the Australian public sector: Enhancing the theory and practiceof internal witness management in public sector organisations.Acton, A.C.T: ANU E Press.
Burke,R. J., & In Cooper, C. L. (2013). Voiceand whistleblowing in organizations: Overcoming fear, fosteringcourage and unleashing candour.
Devine,T., Maassarani, T. F., & Government Accountability Project.(2011). Thecorporate whistleblower`s survival guide: A handbook for committingthe truth.San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.