The subject of whistleblowing was the main theme of a special workshop, organized by the CIJ Friday, October 16th, as part of the Expanding Anonymous Tipping (EAT) project. The group consisted of eight justice professionals, judges and lawyers from Bucharest and Cluj.
Among the topics discussed were the national norms that apply in the case of public interest whistleblowers, the main modifications to the EU Directive, and the biggest challenges it brings to public institutions and, more recently, to private ones.
The lawyers and judges from this workshop also learned about the digital instrument GlobaLeaks – the special software dedicated to whistleblowing, created in order to shield whistleblowers from possible reprisals for their reports. The GlobaLeaks platform was created as an answer and, currently, as the only viable solution for one of the most important requirements of the new EU Directive (currently in the transposition phase) – that of establishing safe internal and external mechanisms for whistleblowers in public and private institutions with over 50 employees.
In the workshop, we set up a GlobaLeaks platform and used it both from the perspective of the administrator and from that of the whistleblower’s. Participants were able to see how user friendly this digital service is and learned about the security guarantees offered by the platform, so that the information reported and the identity of the whistleblower are protected.
The last part of the workshop was dedicated to open discussions and debates on the subject of whistleblowing, in light of the current legislative provisions in force in Romania and especially of the new dispositions from the EU Directive on whistleblowing. Participants worked with various scenarios for the practical implementation of the new dispositions using some of their real cases and presented them to the group for analysis. One of the main conclusions was the importance of awareness and information campaigns, both inside and outside the organizations, about the whistleblowing mechanisms, their role and how to use them. Another important conclusion, shared by every participant, was the necessity of convincing the management from all these institutions to trust this mechanism and to ensure that employees are not afraid to use it. Equally important is a high level of transparency in the process of managing a whistleblower report, with feedback offered to whistleblowers, anonymous or not, and the possibility for them to track the evolution of their report.