Today is National Whistleblower Day in the USA.
This marks the day in 1778 when the Founding Fathers unanimously passed America’s first Whistleblower Protection Law, a piece of legislation so far ahead of its time.
“Resolved, That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or proper authority of misconduct, frauds or misdemeanours committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”
An Ideal World
In an ideal World, whistleblowing would not be necessary. Society and organisations would be open and transparent. Those working in them would always be able to discuss problems openly. Everyone would act with the utmost utmost integrity. Sadly it does not work like that.
Whilst we continue to strive for openness, transparency, respect and integrity in all organisations and government, whistleblowers regularly play a key part in helping create a better world, but often the very term is looked down on.
Whistleblowers Make Us Safer
In some jurisdictions, notably the USA, they receive payment, but payment is rarely the motive. Whistleblowers set off on a journey most of us would not take. With uncertain outcomes but the guarantee that it will be a tough road. Despite legal protections they risk their jobs, personal relationships and often their whole careers. Their actions make society a considerably better place. Safety, fraud and financial risk, huge societal risk from financial crises, bullying, diversity equality and fair treatment, child safety, civil liberties, even belief in our sporting heroes are all areas whistleblowers contribute to enhancing us on a daily basis.
The whistleblowers I have met have been people of strength, courage and a real sense of what’s right.
So on National Whistleblower Day, thanks for your courage and commitment and helping make our World a safer and better place.
You may also like to read 5 reasons you should employ a whistleblower.