Q36.

Is whistleblowing encouraged by the government, and are whistle-blowers in military and defence ministries afforded adequate protection from reprisal for reporting evidence of corruption, in both law and practice?

36a. Legal provisions

Score

SCORE: 25/100

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36b. Prioritisation

Score

SCORE: 0/100

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36c. Effectiveness

Score

SCORE: 0/100

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There is legislation on whistleblowing and reporting corruption. There is also evidence that it applies to military and official personnel. Laws mentioned below make explicit reference to the protection of whistleblowers but they only provide limited protection, such as the protection of identity.

Art. 45 of the Anti-Corruption Law concerns the “Protection of witnesses, experts, whistleblowers and victims” and states that the person who resorts to revenge, intimidation or threats against witnesses, experts, whistleblowers shall be punished by imprisonment from six months to five years and a fine between 50,000 DA to 500,000 DA (1). Moreover, order No. 15-02 of July 23, 2015, amending and supplementing the Code of Criminal Procedure specifies that witnesses, experts and victims are protected. It moreover stipulates that witnesses and experts on cases of corruption may benefit from extra procedural measures when their life, physical integrity, or that of their family members are seriously threatened. This includes concealing information on the identity, providing a special phone number, designating a contact point within the security services, provide the person with physical protection, install preventive technical equipment in the house, change his place of residence, provide him with social or financial assistance; place him, if he is a prisoner, in an especially secure area (2).
Both rules do not explicitly refer to the security services but Art. 69 of the Statute of Military Personnel says that the military is subject to the provisions of ordinary criminal law and the Code of Military Justice (3). Therefore it is assumed that the legislation on whistleblowing also applies to the military personnel. In this regard, the social media outlet, El-Khabar, claimed in November 2018 that the Ministry of Defence has begun providing protection for whistleblowers in corruption-related cases as it had only applied the provisions included in the first and second laws to cases related to terrorism (4).

No evidence could be found that the Algerian government is actively encouraging whistleblowing on corruption cases. Training provided by the anti-corruption watchdog agency ONPLC, which is targeted at public officials that are exposed to corruption, do not explicitly address whistleblowing according to the information provided on the ONPLC’s website (1). According to the head of the ONPLC, the first training cycle focused on four themes: the legal and institutional framework for the fight against corruption, transparency of public life, the code of conduct for public officials, and recriminations. The second training covered fraud risks in public procurement and internal control (2), (3). No further information could be found, for example, on guidance or informative material on whistleblowing. No information could be found on whether the Ministry of Defence, in particular, encourages whistleblowing. However, there is information that the Ministry of Defence had begun offering protection for whistleblowers in corruption-related cases (4). But no statements, for example, by the Vice Minister of Defence encouraging whistleblowing could be found.

There are very few indications that defence officials and personnel would trust that they are adequately protected when they report corruption; see the country’s last assessment (1). For example, there are reports of whistleblowers that have reported corruption and hereafter become subject of harassment and prosecution. In 2017, the president of a workers union was sentenced in absentia to six months in prison after he exposed corruption in the state-owned energy company Sonelgaz (2). In another case, a former manager of the public Oran Port Company was demoted and then dismissed after having questioned his superiors about malfunctions and malpractices in connection with the port’s activities (3). Moreover, authorities arrested the brother of a popular Algerian activist known as Amir Dz to stop him from leaking information and documents regarding the proliferation of corruption in the government’s institutions (4). There are also other reports of people that have been harassed, dismissed or prosecuted after reporting corruption while in office (5).

No legal provisions exist that facilitate corruption reporting or protection of whistleblowing. On the contrary, in 2016 new media legislation was enacted that established a media regulatory body, the ERCA (Entidade Reguladora da Comunicação Social de Angola) that reinforces ruling party control over media organizations, social media and the internet (1), (2), (3).

No legal provisions exist that facilitate corruption reporting or protection of whistleblowing. On the contrary, in 2016 new media legislation was enacted that established a media regulatory body, the ERCA (Entidade Reguladora da Comunicação Social de Angola) that reinforces ruling party control over media organizations, social media and the internet (1), (2), (3).

There is a proven track record of whistleblowers being prosecuted by government authorities for exposing and reporting corrupt activity. Well-documented examples are the judicial proceedings against Rafael Marques – 2012 under the charge of defamation in a lawsuit brought by senior military officials whom the journalists had accused of involvement in corruption and torture in the diamond and private security business, and in 2017 under the charges of defamation and outrage in a lawsuit brought by the former attorney general whom Marques had accused of corrupt practices (1), (2), (3).

There is no legal framework for whistleblowing that applies to military and civilian officials in Burkina Faso (1), (2), (3).

There is no demonstrative evidence within the online literature showing any priority towards the protection of whistleblowers in Burkina Faso (1), (2), (3).

There is no demonstrative evidence within the online literature showing any effective program towards the protection of whistleblowers in Burkina Faso. The newly adopted anti-corruption laws do not have any provisions on the protection of whistleblowers (1), (2), (3), (4).

The practice of whistleblowing is one that is yet to permeate the socio-political landscape of Cameroon. Although there is no specific legal framework on whistleblowing, the state has put in place organs that could play the role of protecting whistle-blowers. According to the UNCAC Implementation Review (p. 6), “Cameroon has not implemented the provisions on the protection of witnesses and reporting persons. However, Article 3 (3) of the CONAC Decree [4] provides for the anonymity of reporting persons and thereby affords some protection to them” [5]. This suggests some protections are provided to whistleblowers by granting anonymity, although explicit reference to protection of whistleblowers seems to be absent. The absence of specific legislation protecting whistleblowers makes it challenging for citizens, especially those in the public sector, to engage in whistleblowing in terms of reporting corruption for fear of losing their jobs [1] [2] [3]. According to a GAN report (May 2017), civil servants and private-sector employees are not legally protected from recrimination or other negative consequences when they report cases of corruption [6].

The government have put in place a system to report corruption through the mandate of CONAC that provides for the anonymity of reporting persons and thereby affords some protection to whistleblowers [1] [2]. CONAC has anti-corruption units in almost every ministerial department. It has established a free hotline for individuals to report cases of corruption [2,3,4]. However, this practice is not encouraged by the government [2,3,4].

Whistleblowing in Cameroon is limited by several factors. The anti-corruption unit can only investigate but cannot prosecute. This organ was created by the President of the Republic and is answerable to the President with no oversight structure. Members of this body are appointed by and answerable to the President, which means that the President, who is Chief of the Armed Forces, cannot be investigated by this body. In the same vein, NCHRF is answerable to the President. Sometimes the organ does not have the necessary resources to carry out its activities [2]. Media are sometimes suspended by the National Communication Council for playing the role of whistleblowers [1]. There is little evidence that journalists do effectively carry out whistleblowing when it concerns the military and defence personnel as the anti-terrorism law of December 2014 is often used against journalists [3].

Also, according to the 2017 Investment Climate Statement, “The government has introduced anti-corruption mechanisms and measures for all economic actors, but provides little support to “whistleblower” cases and especially non-governmental organizations” [4].

Order No. 660, Article 67 is in place for whistleblowing and reporting of corruption and it applies, in theory, but not explicitly to public officials in the defence sector. The following protections for whistleblowers are not contained in Order No. 660, the reversed burden of proof regarding retaliation; waiver of liability for the whistleblower; no sanctions for misguided reporting; the right of a whistleblower to refuse participation in wrongdoing. According to the UNCAC Implementation Review Group (June 2017), Article 67 of Order No. 660 of 2013 (Ordonnance 2013-660) provides for special protection measures for reporting persons, witnesses, experts, victims and their families. But Côte d’Ivoire is still in the process of developing a formal program for the protection of witnesses and reporting persons, and the law establishing that program is still in draft form (1).

Article 69 of Order No. 660 stipulates that the physical address of the police or the High Authority for Good Governance (HABG) can be used in lieu of the whistleblower’s address, to guarantee his/her protection. And Article 70 of Order No. 660 allows the court or public prosecutor to withhold the name of the whistleblower during a court appearance to guarantee his/her safety (1) and (2). Article 72 of Order No. 660 states that no sentence can be imposed solely based on statements given anonymously and Article 71 describes scenarios in which a protected identity can be disclosed, including where such disclosure is necessary to protect the rights of the defendant. In such cases, the protected person is informed of the decision to disclose his or her identity and is granted ten days to challenge and appeal against the decision in a court of appeal (1), (2). Further, Article 29 (Suite données aux déclarations de soupçons) of Act No. 2005-554 of December 2, 2005, on combating money-laundering contains measures to ensure that the identity of the whistleblower is protected (3). For Global Integrity (African Integrity Indicators 2018, AII 2018) the whistleblower legal protections in Order No. 660 are too generic and not explicitly protecting whistleblowers in the public sector (4).

Whistleblowing has not been especially encouraged by the government since the adoption of Order No. 660 of 2013 (Ordonnance 2013-660). There is no evidence of training or internal campaigns to encourage public officials, especially those at the MoD, to step forward and report cases of corruption. There is no independent unit like the Anti-Racketeering Unit that would specifically handle the claims submitted by whistleblowers in the defence sector. Though Order No. 660 affords whistleblowers (témoins, lanceurs d’alerte, dénonciateurs) a series of new protections that previously did not exist, this does not mean that the government actively encourages the anonymous reporting of corruption. For this sub-indicator, one should factor in that whistleblowing within the military establishment could be perceived by the government itself as politically destabilizing.

According to the 2018 Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI 2018), the fight against corruption features more prominently on the agenda of the OUATTARA government than in previous governments. But despite Order No. 660 in 2013 and the setting up of the High Authority for Good Governance (HABG) in 2014, understaffing may reflect the low priority level of such anti-corruption legislation, including whistleblowing (1):

“A National Plan on Good Governance and the Fight Against Corruption was launched in 2013 together with a new institution, the High Authority for Good Governance (HABG, operating since 2014). The government had also planned to create a Special Tribunal for the Fight Against Corruption, a plan not implemented yet. The institutions meant to oversee the utilization of public funds (Inspecteur General des Finances, Cour des Comptes) are understaffed and thus not effective in preventing abuse and corruption” (1).

The HABG has held awareness-raising campaigns regarding the need for people to report cases of corruption to local authorities. One example is a publicity campaign that HABG carried out in the districts of Soubre, Gagnoa and Divo in September 2018. However, this HABG campaign did not prioritize such actions within the defence or police sector (2). None of the internal communications magazine (Magazine Défense) uploaded to the MoD website in 2016-2017 informed or raised awareness about the importance of whistleblowing and the protections afforded to them under Order No. 660. The topic was not discussed in articles addressing corruption (3), (4), (5), (6).

The legal processes to guarantee the whistleblower’s identity from being revealed are not comprehensive enough, as seen in 36A. Not only would a public official at the MoD doubt that his/her identity would be adequately protected from retaliation, but there are no precedents in Côte d’Ivoire’s defence establishment that could inspire confidence among the MoD personnel willing to report a case of corruption.

In a 2016-2018 progress report on corruption in Côte d’Ivoire, the Open Government Partnership recommended more comprehensive protections for whistleblowers in Côte d’Ivoire’s mining sector. If there is little trust in the legal protections for whistleblowers in mining, the situation for a public official at the MoD would be considerably more tenuous (1). According to Marthe Coulibaly, National Coordinator of the Ivorian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (CIDDH), individuals who report human rights abuses are often targeted by the authorities and arrested when they talk about issues of corruption. On the sidelines of a human rights conference in Abidjan in December 2017, the National Coordinator stated the following (2):

“It turns out that for some human rights defenders who work on issues that we consider sensitive, such as corruption, transparency, governance, and the issue of extractive industries, we often victims of certain arrests” … “What is expected of the government is better protection,” she added” (2).

Egypt has failed to pass any whistleblower protection legislation whether in the civilian or the defence sectors, except for a provision in the anti-trafficking law (1), but there is still no formal witness protection programme. ِArticle 30 of the Egyptian Penal Code punishes intimidating a witness or coercing them into changing their testimony (2), and the Criminal Procedure Law regulates the giving of testimonies but with no mention of preemptive witness protection (3).

According to our sources, whistleblowing is not encouraged in the armed forces, and there are no guidelines or even commitments to protect any witness or any reporting of corruption activities (1), (2), (3). Successive governments have been very reluctant in passing a whistleblower protection act despite pressure from civil society, UNCAC commitments, and discussing many drafts for standalone witness protection laws since at least 2013 (4) or incorporating provisions for whistleblower protection in other laws such as Criminal Procedures (5) or the anti-trafficking law. This reluctance is evidence of the fact that the protection of witnesses/whistleblowers is not encouraged or prioritized by the government.

Given the lack of legal protections for whistleblowers and the questionable independence of the justice system especially in the parallel military justice system, officials and personnel would have little trust in the ability of the system to protect them if they report corrupt activities. This would be even more the case if they were reporting a senior official, especially if reported by a low-ranking official. According to our sources, there are huge gaps and distrust among military personnel and their officers. Therefore, whistleblowing is weak and does not happen in the military (1), (2), (3).

Ghana’s legislation on whistleblowing, the Whistleblower Act, 2006 (Act 720), applies to military, police, and intelligence personnel (1). Article. 12, explicitly mentions protection for whistleblowers in case of victimisation (including dismission, suspension, declaration of being redundant, denial of promotion, non-motivated transfer, harassment, intimidation, threats and intimidations).

Article. 17.1 states that whistleblowers can obtain police protection for themselves and their families if their life or property “is endangered or likely to be endangered as a result of the disclosure”. According to Article. 18, there are no sanctions for misguided reporting “unless it is proved that the whistleblower knew that the information contained in the disclosure is false and the disclosure was made with malicious intent”.

Furthermore, if after having blown the whistle the whistleblower is subject to adverse actions against them, they can make a complaint to the CHRAJ and obtain a reversal of the action. In this case, the order of the CHRAJ has the same legal effect as a High Court’s order. The whistleblower can also sue in court and obtain legal remedy for the adverse action (2). The CHRAJ can also award the whistleblower with a payment from the Whistleblower Reward Fund and, if the disclosure results in the recovery of an amount of money, the whistleblower may receive a part of it. In June 2018, Ghana’s Parliament passed the Witness Protection Act, 2018 (Act 975) (3). The new law sets out a framework for protecting individuals who serve as witnesses or cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime and corruption. Among others, the Witness Protection Act also provides for the creation of a Witness Protection Agency for the administration of a witness protection programme to facilitate the protection of witnesses, experts and their relatives.

Training, information and guidance on the reporting of corruption and protection for whistleblowers are provided by CSOs and Ghanaian public institutions. For instance, in March 2018 a forum organised by the mobile Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALACs) to sensitise the public on reporting cases of corruption saw the participation of a senior CHRAJ’s official, a National Commission for Civic Education’s Officer and members of the local administration (1). In April 2018, the Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND-Ghana) also organised a similar training that registered the participation of a senior CHRAJ’s official (2).

A whistleblower can disclose the information to several enforcement bodies, such as the Attorney-General, the police, the EOCO, CHRAJ and the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) (3), but there is no strong evidence of demonstrative internal encouragement for whistleblowing.

According to the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GAAC), more protection should be provided to whistleblowers. Currently, the Whistleblower Amendment Act and the Witness Protection Bill are before Parliament for approval. According to the GAAC, their adoption would increase the protection of whistleblowers (1).

In fact, despite the existence of legislation, enforcement bodies where to report, and information campaigns Ghanaians are still reluctant to disclose and report information on cases of corruption (2). There is little trust and a lack of demonstrable evidence that whistleblowers in the armed forces will be given adequate protection if they bring issues of corruption to the public (3), (4). In 2016, the CHRAJ processed six cases of corruption following disclosures of information from whistleblowers (5).

To increase these numbers, the spokesperson of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GAAC) called for the implementation of financial incentives, for whistleblowers that set in motion investigations (6).

According to Article 24 of the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Law of 2016, published in the Official Gazette, by the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission, the commission pledges that it shall provide needed protection for whistleblowers, witnesses, informants and experts in corruption cases. However, this legislation, although it implicitly applies to the defence sector, does not explicitly extend this protection to the defence sector. In fact, the only mention of the military and public security is related to the commission’s potential request for delegation or secondment or assignment of any of the public security or military officers [1]. Despite the legal protection offered to whistleblowers, implementing this within defence is not straightforward, as there are many regulations and laws that would hinder potential whistleblowers within the defence. These include potential lawsuits against them for defamation, [2] utilising either the 1971 Protection of State Secrets and Classified Documents Law, the 1992 Defence Law, the 1998 Jordan Press Association Law, and the 1999 Press and Publications Law to persecute whistleblowers [3]. Regardless, there is evidence that unit commanders encourage personnel to report any case of corruption and pledge protection for these reporters [4,5,6]. Despite the existence of legislation on the protection of whistleblowers, this does not explicitly apply to the defence sector, and because of the existence of other legislations that could potentially be used against whistleblowers.

Whistleblowing is encouraged through training and guidance, and on different levels of personnel (Commissioned and noncommissioned officers) on the reporting of corruption and protections for whistleblowers. However, the culture of reporting as a whistleblower remains a tabboo in Jordanian culture. Although there is a law to encourage and protect whistleblowers, it is not enforced [1,2,3].

Despite the fact that legislation to protect whistleblowers exists [1], there are many other restrictions within Jordanian legislation that would lead officials and personnel to doubt the protection they may be offered. Fear and lack of trust might be present due to the existence of the 1971 Protection of State Secrets and Classified Documents Law, the 1992 Defence Law, the 1998 Jordan Press Association Law, and the 1999 Press and Publications Law. In general, whistleblowing is not common because of lack of trust and the fear of inability to provide evidence [3,4].

There is legislation on whistleblowing and it does apply to the military, the police and the KNG. The legislation explicitly promises whistleblower protection from any kind of retribution but it is unclear on the issue of identity. Article 2 of the ACA’s law, the body tasked with fighting corruption, outlines the protections in place for the whistleblower including: legal protection, compensation for any damages, protection of identity . The article goes on to place some of the burden of proof on the whistleblowers, demanding whistleblowers to present “serious indications” to prove the veracity of the report (1).

The ACA website, however, explicitly says that the authorities would protect the identity of whistleblowers. It also says that they are willing to monitor their phones based on their personal requests and give them new lines, as well as homes, jobs and a security detail if necessary (2).

Whistleblowing is encouraged by the Government through the ACA’s media messages and the training courses it offers Government agencies, including the defence and security sector. The internal financial departments of the security agencies, which are responsible for safeguarding public funds, do not actively encourage whistleblowing. (1, 2, 3). Their campaigns are rare and half-hearted, mostly because they lack independence as they are under the direct control of the Defence and Interior Ministers, officials and activists said. (4, 5, 6)

On paper, the ACA media and training campaign is flawless, but in practice, it is ineffective. The body was created in 2016 and it has been unable to produce any positive results since it came into existence, and that is because employees are not responding to their efforts, mainly because they believe the ACA can help because they see the Ministry often ignore their requests and those of the SAB.

Earlier this year, the ACA launched a media campaign called “Take Initiative,” whose sole purpose was to reassure witnesses and whistleblowers that they would be protected if they come forward (5).

The campaign included workshops that were held in the military and KNG, according to officials (1 and 2), and also the Interior Ministry, according to a report from the Kuwaiti news outlet, al-Qabas (6).

Few believe that whistleblowers would be protected instead of punished and this is why no one comes forward, officials said (1, 2 and 3). Although the ACA promises protection, many do not believe they are capable of delivering it because their own auditors are often stonewalled by these agencies and the ACA does nothing (publicly or behind the scenes) to support them. As a result, most security and military employees view these efforts as part of a PR campaign, and not a serious crackdown on corruption.

This belief is based on the fact that these auditors failed to crack any of the cases aforementioned in the answer to Q 3A.

In September 2018, the Lebanese Parliament approved a law to protect whistleblowers; it applies to all public administration employees (1). The law was originally submitted in 2010 and approved in 2015 by parliamentary committee (2). Nevertheless, it is problematic as it offers weak protection to individuals. The law required the establishment of the anti-corruption commission that ensures the confidentiality of the individual’s identity. However, the commission has not been established yet (3).

The government has halfheartedly encouraged whistleblowing. In September 2018, State Security with the Ministry of State for Combating Corruption launched a hotline for individuals to report corruption cases by government officials (1). An interviewee from the LTA has confirmed that whistleblowing is not particularly encouraged (2). Furthermore, the Anti-Corruption Commission that is to be responsible for handling the claims is yet to be established (3). The Ministry of State for Administrative Reform has set an anti-corruption strategy for 2018-2023 that includes anti-corruption training for public administration employees and improving oversight (4). The strategy has not been adopted by the government yet (5).

A study done by the LCPS suggests that citizens low trust in government are associated with the high perception of corruption (1). An interviewee confirmed a lack of trust in reporting corruption (2).

A US Department of State Report from 2013 determined that “[Malian] law provides no protection for public or private employees for lawfully disclosing evidence of illegality” 1. The 2014 Anti-Corruption law does not offer any protection for whistleblowers, regardless of whether they are members of the armed forces, civil servants or ordinary civilians.² Moreover, elements of the Penal Code make it difficult for whistleblowers to come forward without fearing legal reprisals. The code allows for the punishment of those deemed to share information unlawfully: Section 3, article 130 of the Penal Code states:
“Anyone who, by position or profession had secrets entrusted to them, that they then revealed shall be punished by imprisonment of six months to two years and, optionally, a fine of 20 000 to 150 000 francs.
The penalties will apply to members of all jurisdictions guilty of violating the code.
If the offender is a public officer or government official, he will be punished by three months to five years imprisonment and a fine from 20 000 to 240 000 francs. The culprit will become forbidden from any function or public employment for at least five to ten years.
Except as provided above, deletion or opening all correspondence addressed to third parties, in bad faith, shall incur the same penalties.
The attempt of the offence shall be punished as if the offence itself”.³
The article does however state that exemptions can be made when the defendant is obliged by the law to become an informer, although the possible threat of a large fine is likely to deter potential whistle-blowers.³

The lack of legal protections for whistle-blowers in the government’s anti-corruption bill in 2014, coupled with the detention of Oumar Keïta (see 36C), indicates the current administration’s lack of enthusiasm for encouraging whistle-blowing.¹ A Malian journalist told the assessor that there are no whistleblowers from within the system.⁴ Only when people lose their jobs do they start to denounce illicit practices. He added that “if you don’t comply with the deeply embedded illicit practices, you’ll get sacked and be replaced with someone more compliant”.⁴ Furthermore, the incentives are simply not there for people to report abuses: “Malian society judges you by what you have, not how you have obtained it. If you are in a position of power, many of your friends or family will expect you to take advantage of your post”.⁴ A 2015 study notes that “Mali does not have a culture of whistleblowing, and few cases have arisen in which citizens, officials or employees have brought public attention to corrupt practices or general or systematic misconduct in public or private institutions. The situations in which whistleblowing typically takes place do not often materialise in Mali”.² In 2015, UNODC trained 38 Malian officials within the criminal justice system on how to handle the testimonies of victims and witnesses of criminal acts, but there is no explicit indication it focused on people reporting cases of corruption.³

In 2018, the authorities arrested and detained a military sergeant, Oumar Keïta, after a video was posted online in which he made damaging allegations about senior army officials embezzling state funds.¹
A Malian journalist told the assessor that there are no whistleblowers from within system.³ Only when people lose their jobs do they start to denounce illicit practices. He added that “if you don’t comply with the deeply embedded illicit practices, you’ll get sacked and be replaced with someone more compliant”.³ Furthermore, the incentives are simply not there for people to report abuses: “Malian society judges you by what you have, not how you have obtained it. If you are in a position of power, many of your friends or family will expect you to take advantage of your post”.³
This view is supported by a 2015 study which notes that “Mali does not have a culture of whistleblowing, and few cases have arisen in which citizens, officials or employees have brought public attention to corrupt practices or general or systematic misconduct in public or private institutions. The situations in which whistleblowing typically takes place do not often materialise in Mali”.²

In theory no legislation applicable to military and official personnel exists to facilitate corruption reporting or the protection of whistleblowers. The Regulations on General Discipline of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces make no mention of it, and no evidence of other official sources providing whistleblowers with protection was found. This lack of evidence can be explained by the secrecy surrounding the internal management of the Moroccan armed forces, as well as by the general context of regular corruption within the Moroccan authorities as denounced by NGOs, such as Transparency International, and interviewees (1)(2)(3).

The last publicly reported case of whistleblowing (Captain Adib Case) not only dates, but was also fraught with obstacles to whistleblowing, a serious lack of protection of the whistleblower and the lack of thorough and independent investigation into the alleged case of corruption highlighted by the whistleblower. As of 2018 the general accused (Bennani) has died of old age without being convicted or prosecuted, and the whistleblower has not been reintegrated into the army (1)(2).

No evidence of more recent cases were found. Given the general context, the outcomes of the Adib Captain case and the secrecy surrounding the armed forces it is likely that this lack of recent case indicate more a fear of potential whistleblowers to publicly speak than a decrease of corruption cases in the Moroccan armed forces. No more recent examples were found (3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8).

The last publicly reported case of whistleblowing (Captain Adib Case) is not only out-of-date, but was also fraught with obstacles to the whistleblowing, a serious lack of protection for the whistleblower and a lack of thorough and independent investigation into the alleged case of corruption highlighted by the whistleblower. The general accused (Bennani) has died of old age without being convicted or prosecuted, and the whistleblower has not been reintegrated into the army (1).

No evidence of more recent cases were found. Given the general context, the outcomes of the Adib Captain case and the secrecy surrounding the armed forces it is likely that this lack of recent case indicate more a fear of potential whistleblowers to publicly speak than a decrease of corruption cases in the Moroccan armed forces (2).

These elements point to a climate of lack of trust among officials and personnel that they would be provided with adequate protection if they reported corrupt activity.

A 1992 law on illicit enrichment provides for the protection of witnesses but does not explicitly refer to “whistle-blowers” (1). As per Article 8, anyone who has permitted or facilitated the accomplishment of an offence of illicit enrichment shall be prosecuted as an accomplice. However, the person who, before an incident of illicit enrichment has revealed to the judicial authorities the facts constituting such an offence will not be prosecuted. The language of the article is vague and does not explicitly describe the reporting person as a “whistle-blower” (lanceur d’alerte). This can be explained by the fact that the concept of a “whistle-blower” is relatively recent, while the law on illicit enrichment dates back to 1992.
The Code of Military Justice is even vaguer in this respect (4). According to Article 48, in case of crime or offence, military personnel (at any level) may take all necessary measures to detect offences in military jurisdiction committed within military establishments.
The legal framework regarding the status of a person who accepts the bribe is also to be taken into consideration when analysing the effectiveness of whistleblowing institutions. Under Article 132 of the 2003 Public Penal Code (2), an individual who provokes or accepts the principles and conditions of corruption is punished the same way as the person who asks for a bribe. Therefore, some persons who could be involved in the process, but wish to report it, may fear prosecution (3). 
To conclude, if we take a broad definition of a “whistle-blower” as a person who reveals to judicial authorities facts that constitute an offence, art. 8 of 1992 the law on illicit enrichment could be interpreted as referencing “whistle-blowers”. However, the Code of Military Justice regarding “whistle-blowers” is vague (Art. 48 is not clear).

The assessor did not find any evidence that there is a specific policy regarding whistleblowing in security and defence institutions. However, on a broader level, the Nigerien government has policies to encourage it. For example, in 2011, it created a Bureau Informations-Reclamations, (BIR/LCTI) (1) – a mechanism of complaints where citizens involved in cases of possible corruption and an instituted telephone hotline to which instances of corruption could be reported. There are also other institutions like Mediateur de la République (2), Commission Nationale des Droits Humains (CNDH) (3), or HALCIA, which could encourage whistleblowing. However, the mandate of these institutions regarding whistleblowing in military and defence ministries is not clear.

In the absence of centralised statistics, it is difficult to assess how many incidents are reported to the institutions that could receive complaints (HALCIA, BIR/LCTI, IGSS, IGA). It is therefore difficult to determine the effectiveness of the penal chain, meaning how many reports or complaints lead to penalisation. Even though civil servants report cases of corruption to HALCIA, BIR/LCTI, police or gendarmerie, or, directly to the Prosecutor of the Republic, there is still little trust among civil servants working in defence and security and no guarantee of protection, should they report an incident. However, according to interviewees, informal and personnel relations based on confidence between some chiefs of the above-mentioned institutions and high-ranking security and defence officials may contribute to the faster resolution of problems that could be connected to cases of corruption, such as scarcity of fuel or late payment of allowances to soldiers. (1,2). Finally, according to interviewees, the media also play a role in highlighting corruption practices and can be used by citizens to ensure better protection from possible reprisals (3,1).

The Whistleblower Protection Bill was passed into law on the 19th of October 2017. It applies to persons and public officials, corporate bodies private bodies and private individuals. It protects against reprisals, harassment, and financial rewards for people who disclose information. It does not sanction anyone for misguided reporting. There is no explicit reference to military personnel, although they are covered by the wide definition, which includes public officials (1).

The Whistleblower Protection Bill was passed into law on the 19th of October 2017. Before that, the policy was promoted but there was not enough information about how the policy should operate in practice for it to be effective. For example, there was some delay to make financial rewards available to people who disclosed information (1). The law is new, so training on the law is not widely available within the service. However, the precise interplay with military law in terms of priority is yet to be resolved; disclosing information is still routinely criticized irrespective of the content and quality of information. For example, the identities of whistleblowers of human rights abuses or corruption, are not being protected against the risk of action under military law and procedure (2).

Beneficiaries have mostly left the country because they are not confident about the ability of the government to protect them if the information leads to the prosecution of highly connected persons. It is not clear that best practices have been followed in protecting the identity and data of people who disclose information. There is no clear structure on how the identity or life of a person who makes a disclosure will be protected against harm. While persons in the private sector may fear retaliation in the form of victimization and loss of employment, there are no safeguards to provide for protection from government intimidation in the public sector. The provisions allow for the concealment of identity, but there is no proper or effective safeguard for the identity of a person who makes a protected disclosure and who is subsequently identified (1).

There is no legislation on whistleblowing in Oman (1), (2). There are no legal provisions protecting military or official personnel exposing corruption. Whistleblowing programs and internal bribery policies are developing within private businesses (2), (3), (4). The State General Reserve introduced an internal whistleblowing policy, but there are no other examples of whistleblowing provisions within state institutions (5). There is no information on institutional websites regarding whistleblowing (6), (7), (8). According to our resources, there is no whistleblowing within any of the MoD agencies or the armed forces. Corruption is not seen as a pressing issue (9), (10).

There is no whistleblowing within any of the MoD agencies or the armed forces. Corruption is not seen as a pressing issue that needs prioritization or much attention (1), (2). There is no evidence to suggest government encouragement of whistleblowing. As outlined above, private businesses have developed inhouse internal whistleblowing procedures without state encouragement (3). The only state apparatus to issue an internal whistleblowing policy is the State General Reserve Fund, the largest sovereign wealth fund reporting to the Ministry of Finance (4). The SGRF, received compliance training according to Muscat Daily (4). No information was found of the state encouraging defence personnel to whistleblow. There is no evidence of considerations for a future unit designed to deal with whistleblowing in the defence sector. It is also important to note here that restrictions over freedom of expression in the country could deter potential whistleblowers from disclosing information in fear of accusations of defamation.

According to sources from within the armed forces, there is little trust between personnel and senior officers. Considering the competition between different tribes within the army, trust is very low when it comes to whistleblowing (1), (2).

There is general legislation on whistleblowing and reporting corruption (1). This legislation does not specify, practically, procedures on claims and investigation of corruption. It is weak on both issues, investigating the cases and protections for whistleblowers (2). There is no protection of whistleblowers, including protection of identity, protection against retribution, reversed burden of proof regarding retaliation, waiver of liability for the whistleblower, no sanctions for misguided reporting, the right of the whistleblower to refuse participation in wrongdoing (3).

Whistleblowing is not encouraged by the government. There are a few measures taken to encourage and provide information for armed forces (1). A unit is designated to handle claims with a hotline to receive complaints. This unit is part of the Anti-corruption Commission, and they had a website and a hotline to receive claims and reports on corruption cases (1). Their budget is part of the commission; however, the budget of the commission itself is not available.

There is little trust among officials and personnel that they would be provided adequate protection if they reported corrupt activity (1). There have been some incidents where whistleblowers were denied promotions or even fired for reporting corruption (2).

Whistleblowing is encouraged in Qatar through the ACTA website, hotline and through advertisements. ACTA can receive calls regarding the military, but due to their lack of authority over the armed forces, these calls must be transferred to the MoD. There is no support for whistleblowing within the armed forces. [1,2]

Whistleblowing in the defence sector is not encouraged by the Government. The information that exists in relation to the protection of whistleblowers does not directly apply to defence institutions. Corruption cases received by the ACTA must be transferred to the MoD and not investigated by ACTA itself. [1,2,3] Research identified one campaign, titled ‘Qatar deserves to be protected from corruption’, launched in 2015, through which Qatar’s public prosecution office encouraged people to report and expose corruption.[4] A fraud hotline was setup by the Qatar Foundation, which allows people to report cases of suspected fraud and corruption. [5]

There are no legal provisions for the protection of witnesses or whistleblowers from within the defence sector. [1] Another source indicated the lack of trust between officials, as many of the armed personnel are not originally Qatari or from Qatari tribes. This means that mistrust can be high amongst the lower ranks. [2]

Nazaha, Saudi Arabia’s main anti-corruption body, has produced regulations which in theory protect whistleblowers (1). However, these laws have in the past been characterized as providing insufficient protection to public and private employees making disclosures of illegality (2). In May 2018, King Salman ordered new protections for employees who report financial and administrative corruption as part of a wider anti-corruption push spearheaded by his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (3). No further details were provided relating to the nature of these protections. Furthermore, neither these nor the previous laws make specific reference to protections for military personnel. According to our sources, the current laws encourage military personnel to report corruption cases, and between 2017 and 2018, leaflets were distributed more than once to many units encouraging military personnel to report corruption. Despite mentioning the protection of identity, there is no more information provided in any sources (4), (5).

As above mentioned, Saudi authorities have, since at least November 2017, prioritized cracking down on corruption, although their methods have been criticized for lacking due process and impartiality. The government has started to actively encourage whistleblowing on administrative and financial corruption in the public and private sectors, including introducing new regulations to protect whistleblowers (1). In its inaugural session for the year in September 2018, the Shura Council discussed a new proposal for the protection of whistleblowers (2), (3). The Council approved the draft law the following month (4). In late February 2019, Saudi press sources reported that Nazaha would soon bring the law into effect. The law reportedly has 39 articles to combat crimes by “encouraging and facilitating information sharing and providing protection to informants, witnesses, experts, and victims from any attacks or threats, material or moral harm, or anything that may adversely affect the delivery of such information” (5).

There is no specialized unit to handle whistleblowing claims. However, Nazaha operates a whistleblowing hotline, which stated received at least 100 reports per day. Nazaha also reportedly provides guidance on how to submit a whistleblowing report, as well as bonuses for citizens reporting corruption (6), (7). It has also reportedly organized anti-corruption training courses and workshops, though little information exists regarding the substance of these courses and whether they explicitly address whistleblowing (8). In November 2016, the Austria-based International Anti-Corruption Academy provided a tailor-made anti-corruption training course to Nazaha employees, the themes of which included whistleblower protection (9). According to our sources, there has not been any kind of training on corruption issues within the military, only leaflets encouraging whistleblowing were distributed to different units, mainly financial and administrative units (10), (11).

There are a number of factors to consider with regards to whistleblowing. According to our sources, there is a high level of distrust between military personnel and their officers. Furthermore, in the pulic sector, there is often a high level of distrust between civil personnel and employees (particularly when they are migrant workers) and their managers (who are usually Saudi nationals), and therefore informing about corruption cases is tricky, and personnel of lower rank refrain from complaints about corruption fearing reprisals (1), (2). According to published material on the Nazaha website, whistleblowers can request that their data and identity remain anonymous when submitting a report (3). Recent policies from the Saudi government attempting to protect whistleblowers may have encouraged the practice more widely, despite a strong whistleblowing culture in both the private and public sectors in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, given the fact that there is very little information published relating to whistleblowing cases, it is not possible to ascertain how effective these protections are. The abovementioned royal order announced by King Salman in May 2018 directing authorities to provide more protection to whistleblowers reportedly followed reports that some individuals were mistreated after submitting corruption complaints (4). Likely, public officials do not feel entirely safe submitting whistleblowing reports highlighting corrupt activity, given that the abovementioned legislation was adopted relatively recently, and there is limited public awareness regarding legal protections for whistleblowers. However, recent actions taken by the Saudi authorities to encourage whistleblowing may have improved the general feeling of trust in the government’s apparent prioritization of these issues among members of the public. The local daily Saudi Gazette reported that in 2018, Nazaha received 15,591 whistleblower complaints, up from 10,402 in 2017. 74.3% of these reportedly related to financial and administrative corruption, while 28.9% of the complaints related to abuse of power (5). Neither Nazaha nor the Gazette and other local press sources specifies whether any of these complaints relate to the military and defence sectors. Given the information provided to TI DS by the interviewees, it seems unlikely that these high numbers of complaints correspond to the military.

Legislation on whistleblowing and reporting corruption exists and applies to military and official personnel. The organic law n°10-2017, dated 7 march 2017, related to the denunciation of corruption and protection of whistleblowers, refers explicitly to the to protection of whistleblowers (1). This law grants the whistleblowers the right of protection of identity (2) and provides criminal sentences for those who disclose the whistleblower’s identity (3). This law provides for protection against retribution (personal protection, administrative protection, legal and psychological support, etc.) (4) The whistleblower enjoys protection from any form of retaliation, discrimination, intimidation or repression. He shall also be protected from any criminal, civil, or administrative measures, or any other measure that could damage him on the occasion of, or in connection with, the denunciation (5). The whistleblower is not required to prove the information he reports. (6) Only whistleblowers who deliberately submit a denunciation to unlawfully harm others are excluded from protection (7).

According to our sources, there are huge efforts by many institutions to encourage whistleblowers, central units, and NGOs, but there is little training and sporadic campaigns to encourage it (1,2). Whistleblowing is encouraged by the Anti-corruption Authority through several measures: organisation of training, workshops and information campaigns, (3) and a toll-free hotline has been set up to receive denunciations (4). According to article 7 of the law protecting whistleblowers, each public structure shall determine the appropriate administrative structure within it, to receive and investigate reports of corruption referred to it by the Anti-corruption Authority, hereafter referred to as the “appropriate administrative structure”. According to the Anti-corruption Authority 2017 report, the Ministry of Defence complied with this obligation (5). However, no evidence of direct communication about whistleblowing by the Ministry of Defence could be found.

The 2017’s INLUCC report shows that the Anti-corruption Authority received 22 denunciations of corruption related to the Ministry of Defence (1). This shows that people are willing to denounce corruption that occurs in the defence sector. However, the publication of the application decrees of the law protecting whistleblowers could leave doubt in the efficacy of the protection that would be given to officials. According to our sources, employees still have fears about reporting corruption practices. Besides that, there are many who feel that they would not be well enough protected in cases of reporting corruption against senior officers or commanders. Despite that, there has been a huge change in the last few years (2,3,4).

In the UAE, there is a clear and enforced legal provision for the protection of whistleblowers at the federal level in the country. The general law applies to the military too. For example, Dubai Law 4/2016 on Financial Crimes has some provisions for the protection of whistleblowers concerning certain financial crimes, which is the same law applied in almost all the Emirates (1). At the federal level, the SAI runs a reporting portal through which people can anonymously report fraud or corruption; however, whether these complaints are followed through is questionable (2), (3).

Whistleblowing is encouraged in public and inside units. There are many placards inside the units and offices that encourage personnel to report any corruption and misbehaviour within the units. Although guidance materials and posters are available, training and internal campaigns to promote whistleblowing are nonexistent (1), (2).

There is little trust among officials that whistleblowers would be provided with the necessary protections. However, there are internal cases in which whistleblowers were provided promotions and financial rewards after reporting of corruption activities, such as smuggling activities in cooperation with armed forces, for example, the navy (1), (2). However most of these cases involved expatriate civilians (foreign employees) and not members of the military.

Country Sort by Country 36a. Legal provisions Sort By Subindicator 36b. Prioritisation Sort By Subindicator 36c. Effectiveness Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 50 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Angola 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Burkina Faso 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Egypt 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 75 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Jordan 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Kuwait 50 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 25 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100
Mali 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Morocco 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Niger 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Nigeria 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Palestine 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Saudi Arabia 25 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Tunisia 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
United Arab Emirates 50 / 100 25 / 100 50 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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