Milan introduces protection for public sector whistleblowers
Council votes Protection and Promotion of Whistleblowing in the public interest
Issued by Transparency International Italia
Milan, 18 June 2013 - Transparency International Italia today welcomed new measures in Milan offering greater protection for Milan’s municipality employees if they come forward to report corruption. The Council of the City of Milan on 17 June approved an important motion to protect and promote whistleblowing, with 27 votes in favour, 8 abstained and no opposing votes. Similar measures should be adopted across Italy, the anti-corruption group said.
The passage of the “Procedural Institution of Whistleblowing” results from co-operation between Transparency International Italia and the Milan City Council’s anti-Mafia committee led by David Gentili.
“This law sets an example to be followed by local administrations and public authorities across Italy,” said Maria Teresa Brassiolo, President of TI-Italia. “We ask in this critical period that they take a clear position against negligence, corruption and illegality, burdens that significantly impact the economic position of our country and the reputation of all our honest citizens.”
As already underlined by the Anti-Corruption Commission -- established by the former Minister of the Public Administration Filippo Patroni Griffi under the Law 190/2012 (anti-corruption law) -- protection and promotion of whistleblowers reporting on negligent or illicit actions and attitudes are a useful way to increase civic responsibility toward the protection of the collective interest.
The need for a cultural change in attitudes towards whistleblowing, not only among public administrations, but also in the community, has been underlined by a 2009 Transparency International report “Alternative to Silence”, and a recent publication on the issue by TI-Italia on the issue from Davide Del Monte and Giorgio Fraschini.
“This change should aim for the public interest to be an important value shared and defended by all. Only after this cultural change, the whistleblower will be given the honours deserved,” said Maria Teresa Brassiolo.
The 2009 report warned that because of a perception that one should not betray their neighbour; whistleblowing is “often confused with treason”. Italy does not have a free-standing whistleblower law.
Transparency International Italia invites all interested parties to take part in a conference that will be held in the morning of 10 July, in the San Fedele Foundation, with David Gentili and other experts and representatives of civil society. The conference will focus on the need to activate, through whistleblowing and other means, an increased participation of the citizens, to play a role in the battle against corruption.
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