Latvian Government approves the draft law on whistleblower protection
On Tuesday 7 March, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the draft law on whistleblower protection – a legal framework aimed at strengthening and promoting whistleblowing in the public interest. After the approval by the government, the draft law has to be approved by the Saeima (The Parliament).
Whistleblowing is the reporting of well-grounded information about an alleged violation that endangers or may endanger the public interest and which is observed by the whistleblower in relation to his/her work duties (e.g. corruption, construction, public procurement, environmental safety or health risks).
For the purposes of the draft law, a whistleblower can be any person who reports of a possible violation in good faith. The whistleblower observes the violation which may be detrimental to public interests in a work related context, and provides well-grounded information about it.
In order to change public attitudes towards whistleblowing as a precious resource to the public, it is essential to provide for whistleblower protection. The draft law is aimed to ensure confidentiality of whistleblowers, to prohibit repraisal due to whistleblowing, sets out the whistleblower's right to seek redress before the court.
Over recent years, similar dedicated laws for whistleblower protection have entered into force in several European countries. It is also the priority of the European Council, the OECD and other international organizations.
The draft law has been developed taking into account international requirements, opinions of non-governmental partners and state authorities. The draft law was developed by the State Chancellery's Working Group involving the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Office of the Prosecutor General, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, Ministry of Welfare, Ministry of the Interior, Supreme Court, "Transparency International Latvia - Delna" and Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia.
Information prepared by:
Consultant of the Communication Department
Phone: 67082929; 26127917