Letter: Truth-tellers at work

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Roger Dobson is right that we need whistleblowers if we are to tackle malpractice in organisations and protect the vulnerable. He is also right to point out that "while Britain's whistleblowers run the risk of dismissal, discrimination and ill health, their counterparts in America have enjoyed federal protection since 1989".

It is unfortunate that he did not mention that Richard Shepherd's Public Interest Disclosure Bill is now completing its parliamentary passage and is expected to come into force next year. This measure protects public interest whistleblowers and has been described by American campaigners as "a landmark first step both for freedom of speech and institutional accountability". After careful analysis, they conclude that while its general protection will be equivalent to that in the States, it is stronger in four keys areas (application across all sectors, application to malpractice overseas, protection for, legal advice, and controls on gagging clauses).

GUY DEHN

Director

Public Concern at Work London EC1

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