Whistleblowers are protected by dozens of federal whistleblower laws, and most states have whistleblower protection laws, too. Yet 20% of federal employees believe they’ll face reprisal for reporting wrongdoing. What can your office do to assure employees they’ll be safe if they report wrongdoing to you?
Communicate informant protections – People submitting complaints are protected by various laws, depending on the agency receiving the complaint. Communicate, in plain English, the laws protecting whistleblowers and the specific situations where their identity may be compromised. People are more likely to communicate with investigators if they have a full picture of the risk associated with doing so.
Tell whistleblowers how to remain anonymous – If whistleblower identities may be subject to unmasking through a Freedom of Information Act request or through litigation, make sure to tell them that, and provide ways to remain anonymous. Encourage employees to avoid providing information online using the office network if they believe they might be tracked.
Show examples of action taken based on anonymous tips – Another reason that employees witnessing wrongdoing don’t tell anyone is that they believe nothing will be done despite the risk they are taking. Provide agency employees examples of egregious wrongdoing that were stopped thanks to an anonymous tipster – one whose identity is still unknown to the world at large.
Do you want to improve the quantity of tips your investigative office receives? Call WingSwept at 919-600-5102 or email Team_CMTS@wingswept.com and ask about the powerful new capabilities CMTS can provide to improve your agency’s web form submissions!