Should a whistleblower’s identity be disclosed?

November 4th, 2010

There is a proposed Protected Disclosures Bill also known as the whistleblower law. This law is intended to persuade employees to divulge information about corruption and inappropriate behaviour at the workplace in the public’s interest. However, the legislators were at an impasse when the question of whether Jamaicans should daringly identify themselves as informers or stay unknown came up.

Some lawmakers felt that people should feel free to speak out against corruption without fear of reprisal. One such person was Opposition colleague and Member of Parliament for East Kingston and Port Royal, Phillip Paulwell. He said that Jamaicans should openly challenge the ‘informer fi dead’ culture, and when/if they do, the full force of the state should provide the necessary protection for them.

Other legislators clearly did not agree. Member of Parliament for West Central St. James and attorney-at-law, Clive Mullings opposed Paulwell’s view, stating that there can be no change in the culture if a person making the disclosure is fearful of being killed.

What is your opinion on the matter? Do you think a whistleblower’s identity should be disclosed? Have your say…

Refer to article:

Lawmakers split on disclosing whistleblower’s identity

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14 Responses to “Should a whistleblower’s identity be disclosed?”

  1. sherrie says:

    I do not think the whistleblowers identity should be revealed if it could endanger their lives. The corrupted person should be put on blast and made an example out of ( that is if all allegations are proven to be true without a doubt). Maybe that would deter the next corrupted no good criminal.

  2. TVF says:

    sherrie, I agree, except that whether or not it is believed that the Whistleblower life will be endangered, their identity should NOT be revealed. No one will ever know for sure whether or not the status of a whistleblower will or will not change; as it relates to their wellbeing.

  3. ripuree says:

    Are we talking about Jamaica? Because if we are I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would so willingly wish the death of such a citizen.

    How is the Police going to protect a whistle blower when they don’t have enough manpower to deter daily chronic crimes?

    Jamaica is too seeped with corruption from Top to bottom. And ensuring that whistle blowers are protected; and maybe even rewarded secretly may be the only way to put a significant dent in the National Culture of Corruption that has been allowed to go on for so long.

    Once corruption is identified the person revealing it may still be needed to be gather more evidence to prove the case. Not until the story is proven and the offender dealt with should the whistle blower be revealed (if he/she prefers).

    Again I say, Jamaica does not have the money and manpower to protect the amount of whistle blowers who could reveal things to alter the corruption that is rampant in Jamaica. If anything they should be secretly rewarded for their stance. Revealing their identity (unless that is their wish)will only maintain the existing status quo.

  4. MP Ricardo says:

    In Jamaica just doing any simple daily chore can cost you your life. We do not need to add another thing to the long list of ways to die. Keep the whistleblowers safe. We would be surprised at what is really going on if people started to talk about things. In America they welcome whistleblowing in such forms as let’s say writing a memoir. Low di whistleblower mi seh.

  5. Freddy says:

    The term “Whistle Blower” of itself denotes stealth, and is practised in big organizations like the United Nations. It is the confidential nature of it all that will encourage people to come forward and blow the whistle.
    MP Paulwell has nothing to fear but ordinary citizens do.

  6. Sean H. says:

    I do believe that, under law, the accused has the right to face / know the identity of his accuser.
    If good information is given to the state AND it is PROPERLY investigated and fresh INDEPENDENT evidence gathered then the state would bring the case to court and thus there is no issue of revealing the identity of the informant.

    Now, if the accusations are made but cannot be proven then someone was wrongly accused and to serve justice then the accuser/whistle blower must be brought to book. If this is not done, idle ‘bad mind’ people can sling accusations around, embarrass the innocent and waste the time of the legal system.

    Read up on the Salem Witch Hunts and you will see what willy-nilly whistle blowing can result in.

  7. donny jackson says:

    ahhh,, hell no ,you identify a whistleblower,and that will be your last one…i bet all these dishonest jamaicans,who asusual come down on the wrong side of crime,i bet they mostly want a honest whistleblower to be identified….i also think jamaicans in order to solve crime,should be informing more,reguardless of what the losers label them….whistleblowing reward should be upped quite a bit,to get more people involved,and if a crooked official or police reveal their identity,that official,should face a death penalty,for putting a honest citizens life in danger..

  8. Mass C says:

    Absolutely not, if we are trying to clean up Jamaica as most people think we should and I agree.

    Why on earth can’t the people of every district speak up and do their part? If you see something for Christ sake say something, violence has no borders anymore.

    Furthermore, it’s your community and if you all don’t want to help keep your district safe for your families, relatives and friends in your area then that is up to you all.

    This greed for money and the fast tracking must end says the lord god Jah. One man sowing and the tief is reaping: the one likkle cow yu hav’ dem tief it over nite. Dem gone with mass Joe pig and mass Ben goat to.

    How long can the people last after suffering various kind of losses? It have an impact on their earnings, feeding one’s family and keeping one’s child or children in school.

    judgement is in progress and it’s time to stand up to the criminals: it’s them against the people of the district and I leave you all with a thought. Bob Marley was right read the lyrics below.

    Get up stand up
    Stand up for your right
    get up stand up
    don’t give up the fight.

    That is all I have to say to the people of Jamaica in every District. Come together and defeat the enemy or they will.

    Praise the lord god Jah in heaven.
    Mass C

    Yu Simmie?

  9. Mavis says:

    Like Ricardo and Freddy (Nov. 5, 2010), I uphold “whistle-blowing”; but total care has to be exercised to protect the “whistle-blower”.
    The very thought of loosing one’s life for upholding the truth and honesty is so frightening that many persons still will not report, unless they are very sure their identity will be well guarded.
    MP Paulwell is right in the sense that this kind of fear should not exist when people are doing the right thing; but in today’s society and with the culture that obtains, it is just simply dangerous to identify such persons.


    No !! Categorically no !!

  11. Vinnie White says:

    No need for disclosing the identity of the contributor. From here it should be the responsibility of investigating forces using forensic science to determine the truthfulness of such report. Also if found to be false with the intention of being destructive, the contributor could find himself in serious HOT-WATER.

  12. Francia Campbell says:

    I think that if all the government ministries are privately owned, that Jamaica would greatly benefit. It would grow faster and create more jobs. There would be less need for corruption. There would be better service for the population at large. The ministries include; Education, Health, Justice, NWA, NWC, Postal, Agriculture, and the list goes on.

  13. Omugabe says:

    ‘Whistle blowing’ is an evil eurocentric concept, which is out of character of the majority population of Jamaica.

    ‘Whistle blowing’ is like the hated gossip. And it should be discouraged from being practiced one Jamaican on another; because it breeds mistrust and divisiveness among the people
    It is also a tool often used by the enemies of Jamaicans to ‘divide and dominate’ them to this day.

    Instead, Jamaicans should be taught and encouraged to ‘do the right thing’ by each other, and EXPECT that one’s wrongdoing will be called out (sometimes publicly and with care) by fellow citizens for rectification of those wrongdoings.

    Whistle blowing on non-Jamaicans for the benefit of Jamaicans, is when apply the practice; because Jamaicans do not owe as much allegiance to others, who in turn never owe allegiance to Jamaicans.

    In other words, ‘whistle blowing’ is a spy’s tool; and Jamaicans SHOULD NOT be spying on each other.

    There has to be found a better way to pursue wrongdoing (hopefully not just spite & mischief-making) in any Jamaican organization, instead of spying and su su-ing on each others.

  14. BOB says:

    I said no. only if this person will be needed to go to court. and even then everything must be done to continue to protect that person identity!…

    This include jailing the accused if he/she try to leak the blower identity!.

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