New Zealand Law Society - Academics recommend better whistleblowing procedures

Academics recommend better whistleblowing procedures

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A joint New Zealand and Australian report looks at best practice for whistleblowing procedures, including establishment of new forms of oversight.

The report, Clean as a whistle: A five step guide to better whistleblowing policy and practice in business and government, is the result of a major three-year study that has already produced numerous other reports on the state of play in New Zealand and Australia.

The authors say the study is one of the largest pieces of research on whistleblowing ever undertaken and the first of its kind to compare public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

The New Zealand component was led by Professor Michael Macaulay from the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington, while the overall study was led by Professor AJ Brown from Griffith University in Australia.

“The publication of our work could not be timelier for New Zealand,” says Professor Macaulay, “especially as the legislative reforms around the Protected Disclosure Act have been slightly delayed. The State Services Commission has made good progress on whistleblowing in the past few years with its ‘Speak Up’ standards and public consultation on the Act. I hope our report can add valuable insights to the discussion.”

Professor Macaulay says the report helps in a number of key respects. “Our work is practitioner focused, outlining clear, practical steps that can be used to improve processes across five key areas. More importantly, our report recognises that progress is needed not only at the organisational level, but also at the legislative and regulatory level.”

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