On October 9, the anti-corruption committee of the Parliament finished reviewing amendments to draft law No. 1010 on protection of whistleblowers.
TI Ukraine’s legal advisor Oleksandr Kalitenko participated in the discussion and has already described the key points of the draft law which will be reviewed by the Parliament.
The committee agreed that a whistleblower will be entitled to a 10% reward of the subject matter of a crime or of the damages incurred to the State, if the reported information helped to prove the crime. MPs also clarified the conditions under which such information is to be obtained – namely, in connection to work, economic, and academic activity, etc. MPs broadened the options available to a whistleblower as well; now he or she may obtain all kinds of legal aid or engage a defense attorney. Amendment No. 59 seems questionable, in our opinion. According to it, reporting information with restricted access (except for information classified as state secret, which is reported according to the law), a whistleblower can use external information channels. This amendment is not fully compliant with the principle of legal certainty, since there is no list of specific laws which would exempt such a whistleblower from liability.
There has been a small victory, though. For the first time, in terms of amendments, the phrasing “reporting of a criminal or other violation” was used, which can be considered a first step towards the “broad definition” of the notion “whistleblower.”
“We have repeatedly emphasized the need of a broader definition of a whistleblower, since socially important violations may have something to do not only with corruption, — states Andrii Borovyk, TI Ukraine’s Executive Director. — If people are able to report irregularities in ecological, human rights, transport, and food matters, this will eventually influence the life of each Ukrainian. Such whistleblowers need protection as well.”
Now, urgent draft law No. 1010 will be reviewed by the Parliament. It is expected that the law, if voted, will come in effect on January 1, 2020.
The committee agreed that a whistleblower will be entitled to a 10% reward of the subject matter of a crime or of the damages incurred to the State, if the reported information helped to prove the crime.