MP calls for protection for whistleblowers in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 11:25 02 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:25 02 August 2014
ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC vÉÄövÇ¬© 2010
Whistleblowers should be provided with protection and support for raising concerns about wrongdoing in public services, an MP has said.
As a member of the House of Commons’ public accounts committee, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon was involved in investigating the role of whistleblowers across health and other government services.
“When whistleblowers feel the need to speak out, it is often in order to protect the public,” Mr Bacon said after a report published yesterday revealed cases where those who try to raise concerns are often bullied or harrassed.
“When a public servant wants to raise concerns, it should be straightforward to do so. In reality, the public sector’s haphazard approach has left people still feeling scared.
“Potential whistleblowers know that those who have come forward with legitimate concerns have sometimes been mistreated and even systematically victimised.
“In theory, many departments have improved their whistleblowing policies but the civil service culture does not encourage those with concerns to speak up. Moreover, Whitehall’s inconsistent approach to whistleblowing has left one-third of civil servants not knowing how to raise a concern under the civil service code.
“The civil service attitude to whistleblowing must change. The Cabinet Office should provide clear leadership to ensure a consistent whistleblowing policy across Whitehall.
“This must provide protection and support for whistleblowers, clamp down on those who victimise whistleblowers and develop a clear picture of the issues raised so that important lessons can be learned.”
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