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Enhanced protection for those who sounded the alarm

Enhanced protection for those who sounded the alarm

The Swedish Transport Administration, which has also had its own whistleblowing function for several years, uses the same offshore companies as the Swedish Transport Agency. According to the head of the ST authority, Jerk WiktorsonThe Swedish Transport Administration receives approximately 100 registrations per year for this job. Most of them relate to activities purchased by the Swedish Transport Administration. Jerk Wiktorson believes that less than a third applies to internal misconduct such as corruption.

Among them, perhaps one or two cases will be referred to the Personnel Responsibility Committee, he says.

Despite the fact that there are few internal reports, both Jerk Wiktorsson and Anna Malmborg believe it is good to have a whistleblower job in the relevant authorities, and positive that it is now legal that more authorities should create similar jobs.

They see whistleblowers as a tool to use when protecting messages is not relevant. or before it becomes relevant.

Jerk Wiktorson says there is a lot of misbehavior that the media doesn’t care about.

Despite the fact that ST federal attorney Joachim Lindqvist recommends government employees use whistleblower protection, he also believes that there are certain situations in which it might be best to use internal whistleblower channels instead.

This applies to misconduct at a much lower level of authority, which may not be of media interest and where the person who has observed misconduct believes that it must be raised higher within the authority for something to happen.

In order for the new law to function as intended for everyone affected by it, an enormous amount of information work will be required, according to every person Publikt spoke to.

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The government recently decided that trade unions should be able to receive grants to work with this. TCO began work producing a union handbook with educational materials for elected representatives.

Liz Donovan stresses that the good thing about the new law is that it allows employees to consult with union representatives before they file a report through the whistleblower function.

– The union as a legal entity can also submit a report to relieve an individual. But either way, unions should be helped to understand the law, she says.

This assistance can be very important in state-owned and private companies, where employees are not covered by whistleblower protection. For them, the new law is of greater importance and consolidation compared to the current legislation, says Joachim Lindqvist.

An important change compared to the previous one is that the mismatch size requirement must be reduced. From “gross misconduct” to “misconduct in the public interest”.

Joachim Lindqvist says the most significant change is that all employers are forced to have special whistleblowing jobs.

It will create awareness of the importance of attention to wrongdoing within the organization. Hopefully it will have a protective effect and that is the biggest benefit, he says.

Peter Sternstedt agrees that the new law has better conditions than the previous law to have an anti-corruption effect. Regarding the current whistleblower panel introduced in 2017, he wrote an article in a debate in Göteborgs-Posten in which he said that this law would not prevent an IT scandal at the Swedish Transport Agency, because “the problem here is that no matter how whistleblowers blow their whistles And no one listened.” In the article he called for a system that, in addition to protecting whistleblowers, makes employers listen to them.

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– The new law means more opportunity for whistleblowers to be heard, as it includes an internal system for whistleblowing and follow-up. But the law’s primary goal remains to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, not to ensure that misconduct will have consequences, Peter Sternstedt says today.

According to him, it is precisely the consequences that are considered important for overcoming corruption and other wrongdoing.

It remains to be seen how the law will work in this regard. If we see that those who use the canals are getting protection and the whistles have an effect, then more people will be motivated to puff. And then eventually a culture will be created where there is no doubt about what the offense is. This, in turn, will create expectations that those who commit an offense will be held accountable.