Tag: Whistleblower

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.

Protected Disclosure Unprotected Disclosure

A disclosure is considered protected when:

  1. The disclosure is made in good faith;
  2. 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;
  3. The disclosure is not made for the purposes of personal gain.

A disclosure is considered unprotected when:

  1. 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;
  2. A person discloses information protected by legal professional privilege;
  3. 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.

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:
Doreen Portelli, Director General Strategy & Implementation
Contact Number: 2299 2235
Contact Email: whistleblower.mfh@gov.mt

The WRO is responsible for receiving internal disclosures and addressing the concerns raised by the whistleblower accordingly. Nevertheless, if the whistleblower is not satisfied with the outcome or s/he has reasoned beliefs which are in line with arictle 16 of the said act, then s/he may submit an external disclosure to the Whistleblowing Reports Unit of the authority as provided in OPM Circular No. 18/2013.