MPs pledge extra protection and support for whistleblowers

confidentialThe Netherlands is considering setting up a formal institution to help legally protect whistleblowers and research their complaints, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Draft legislation, drawn up by seven political parties, will be put out to consultation this week. The aim of the bill is to set up an independent House for Whistleblowers, with a budget of €3.5m and capacity to help 400 to 600 people a year.

‘People who report wrongdoing are often left to get on with it, even though they are doing society a service,’ Socialist MP Ronald van Raak told the Volkskrant. ‘Soon they will be able to turn to the House for Whistleblowers. As long as their complaint is being researched, they cannot be sacked.’

‘The aim is to prevent whistleblowers from becoming isolated, unemployed and forgotten, without their complaint ever being looked at.’ The new institution will look into 50 to 60 cases a year under its own steam, supporters say.

Van Raak and other MPs started working on the issue after it emerged Ad Bos, whose revelations uncovered a massive building construction sector bribery and fraud scandal, ended up living in a caravan on benefits.

Attention for whistleblowers is currently divided between a number of institutions, including the national ombudsman.

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