PROTECTION OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER
The Protection of the Whistleblower Act Cap. 527 came into force in September 2013. By means of this Act, an employee who makes a protected disclosure is protected from detrimental action, in that the whistleblower will not be liable to any civil, criminal or disciplinary proceedings for having made such a disclosure.
The below characteristics define what makes an internal disclosure protected or unprotected.
A disclosure is considered protected when:
- The disclosure is made in good faith;
- The Whistleblower reasonably believes that his/her disclosure on any improper practice committed by the employer / another employee of his employer / persons acting in the employer’s name and interests are substantially true;
- The disclosure is not made for the purposes of personal gain.
A disclosure is considered unprotected when:
- The disclosure is made by an employee who knowingly discloses information s/he knows or ought to reasonably know is false. Such is deemed to be an offence punishable in accordance with article 101 of the Criminal Code;
- A person discloses information protected by legal professional privilege;
- It is made anonymously. In such cases the WRO may still process such disclosures, but if they are deemed defamatory or libellous, they will be discarded.
Reporting persons can report wrongdoings to an internal officer who will refer the report for further
follow-up while retaining the identity of the reporting person in strict confidentiality. The reporting
person will remain anonymous and therefore protected from retaliation at the workplace.
If no such internal channel is in place, or the report is not investigated effectively, the reporting person
may report externally to one of the competent authorities mentioned in the law. These include: the
Commissioner of Revenue (CfR), Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), Malta Financial Services
Authority (MFSA), Commissioner for Voluntary Organisation (CVO), Permanent Commission Against
Corruption and the Ombudsman.
For Public Sector Employees External Whistleblowing Officer has been appointed within the Cabinet
Each Government Ministry is represented by a Whistleblowing Reporting Officer (WRO), from the rank of Assistant Director and above. The contact details of the Whistleblowing Reporting Officer within the Ministry for Health are outlined below:
Whistleblowing Reporting Officer: