Whistleblowing and Protected Disclosures Research Findings and Implications… A J BrownProfessor of Public Policy & LawCentre for Governance & Public PolicyGriffith University, Queensland, Australia. Director, Transparency International Australia.NZ State Services Commission, Wellington5 May 2014
Whistling While They Work: Enhancing the Theory & Practice of Internal Witness Management in the Australian Public Sector Western Australian GovernmentCorruption & Crime CommissionWA OmbudsmanPublic Sector Standards Commissioner Edith Cowan University Australian Government Commonwealth OmbudsmanAustralian Public Service CommissionCharles Sturt University Queensland GovernmentCrime & Misconduct CommissionQueensland OmbudsmanOffice of Public Service, M&EGriffith University New South Wales GovernmentNSW ICACNSW OmbudsmanUniversity of Sydney Victorian, ACT & NT GovtsOmbudsman VictoriaNT Comr for Public EmploymentACT Chief Minister’s DeptMonash University Transparency International Australia Australian Research Council www.griffith.edu.au/whistleblowing
Cth NSW Qld WA 73 85 83 63 304 56 27 60 34 31 32 28 25 175 118 Case Study Agencies Internal Witness Surveyn=240 Volunteered 15 24 28 20 87 Casehandlers (n=315) Selected 4 4 4 3 15 n=828 Managers (n=513) WWTW - Quantitative Research General Agencies Agency Survey (Procedures) Procedures Assessment Employee Survey Total no. of public servants surveyed – 23,177Total responses – 7,663 (33%) Integrity Agencies Integrity Agency Survey(Practices & Procedures) n=16 Integrity Casehandler Survey n=82
Former Head of Forex, National Australia Bank, Luke Duffy arriving at court for his committal hearing, 22 March 2005. Photo: Sydney Morning Herald. Sentenced to 2.5 years jail (minimum 16 months), 15 June 2005.
NAB corporate affairs manager Robert Hadlerhas confirmed the rogue trading was uncoveredy a whistleblower. "The initial investigation was revealed by acolleague on the trading desk in our trading floor in Melbourne,“Mr Hadler said. "He reported that to senior management; [a] thorough investigation was launched and we worked out the full extent of losses and have reported it immediately to the market, and to the regulators and the police." Despite being uncovered by a whistleblower, Mr Hadler says the bank's systems would have detected it in due course. "The trades were unauthorised and not properly recorded and that's why they weren't picked up in the first instance by the systems," he said. -- ABC News Online, 14 January 2004.
Table 2.13. Relative importance of employee reporting (means) p.45 Casehandler & Manager Q14, Integrity Casehandler Q9
Some key findings • Prevalent – at least 12% of public employees reported public interest wrongdoing outside their role in 2 years. • Important – the single most highly valued source of information about wrongdoing in the public sector. • Not always mistreated – 25-30% public interest whistleblowers reported mistreatment by management and/or co-workers. • Difficult, stressful – c.43% high stress, 62% some stress. • Much higher risk in some situations. • Unmanaged, under-managed processes in a large proportion of organisations.
Only 5 out of 175 federal and state agencies had ‘reasonably strong’ procedures measured against the Standard
State of reform - Australian whistleblowing legislation * Some private sector coverage + Not whole public sector covered NKTW: Not known to work
Some comparisons New Zealand state sector (2013) Australian public sector (WWTW) (2008) Australian population (employees & org members) (Newspoll) (2012)
A Key Metric: How many don’t report?Figure 2.4. Inaction rates (very/extremely serious) Mean28.6% nationally Fig 2.4p.49
Designing research to be operationalised Whistling While They Work – AustraliaOverall ranking of case study agency performance
Second report: Whistling While They Work - A good practice guide for managing internal reporting of wrongdoing in public sector organisationsP. Roberts, A. J. Brown &J. Olsen, 2011http://epress.anu.edu.au/whistling_citation.htmlElements of an organisationalwhistleblowing program: • Organisational commitment • Encouragement of reporting • Assessment and investigation of reports • Internal witness support and protection • An integrated organisational approach
The Next Project Australia, New Zealand?, United Kingdom? Studying managerial responses to whistleblowingPossible approaches #1, #2, #3… Vandekerckhove, W., Brown, A. J., & Tsahuridu, E. (2014, in press). ‘Managerial Responsiveness to Whistleblowing: Expanding the Research Horizon’, in Brown, A. J., Lewis, D., Moberly, R. & Vandekerckhove, W. (eds), International Whistleblowing Research Handbook, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. [Ajzen, I. 1991. ‘The Theory of Planned Behavior.’ Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, December, 50(2): 179–211.]
Table 13.1: Manager Preparedness to Intervene (%) Source: ‘Whistling While They Work’ project, Manager Survey, Q44. Vandekerckhove, W., Brown, A. J., & Tsahuridu, E. (2014, in press).
Table 13.4: Level of Relevant Training Source: ‘Whistling While They Work’ project, Manager Survey, Q22. Vandekerckhove, W., Brown, A. J., & Tsahuridu, E. (2014, in press).
OrganisationCulture and Climate Trust, vigilance, courage, empowerment, credibility, accountability, options and safety climate Outcomes Whistleblower: satisfaction, engagement, strain, turnover Supervisor: satisfaction, engagement, strain Organisation: performance, policy change Manager Leadership style Job demands, control, support Neuroticism, conscientiousness Position, tenure, gender WB incident type, experiences and expectations Whistleblower Job demands, control, support Neuroticism, conscientiousness Position, tenure, gender WB incident type, experiences and expectations Whistleblower-Manager Relationship Duration, trust, communication Brough, P., Brown, A J, Vandekerckhove, W., Lewis, D., Smith, R. (2014). ‘Encouraging Courage: Effective Managerial Responses to Whistleblowing’, Australian Research Council Discovery Project Application, March 2014. Figure 1. Multi-level Whistleblowing Model
The Next Project: Research Needs & Aims? • Provide reliable indicators of organisational and jurisdictional success (or challenges) in managing employee reporting of wrongdoing • Begin to provide efficient longitudinal data on performance; • Extend across jurisdictions and sectors for better comparative lessons; • Extend focus onto organisational rather than individual behaviour in responses to perceived wrongdoing and its reporting: • Managerial responsiveness: • The range of ways in which managers respond to whistleblowing, • The criteria that should be used to evaluate the appropriateness of those responses, and • The attributes, predictors and factors that may determine or influence those responses; including individual, contextual and regulatory factors.