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Whistleblower reform anticipated

Whistleblower reform anticipated

THE RECOMMENDATIONS of a Federal Government inquiry into whistle blower law reform are due to be released in a report later this week.A key focus of the inquiry, which commenced July 2008 and…

THE RECOMMENDATIONS of a Federal Government inquiry into whistle blower law reform are due to be released in a report later this week.

A key focus of the inquiry, which commenced July 2008 and chaired by Victorian MP Mark Dreyfus, was to develop new model laws giving greater protection to public servant whistleblowers.

Currently, under the Secrecy Provisions 1914, public servant whistle blowers face criminal sanctions including jail terms. The provisions received much attention when used in 2008 year against former Sydney Airport Customs department official, Allan Kessing, who received a suspended jail sentence after leaking a report on serious airport security breaches.

The inquiry is expected to consider whether protection should be given to whistleblowers who disclose information when it is in the public interest to do so. When the inquiry was announced last year, Dreyfus told the ABC that whistleblowers who disclose information in the public interest, instances of wrong-doing, crime and mal-administration can "provide a really important service to the community".

- Zoe Lyon

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