A Member of the Public Who Would Like to Whistleblow

Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (“WPA”)

The WPA came into effect on 15 December 2010. It should be read together with the WPA Guidelines.

FAQ

1.

Who do I report to?

Matter involves:

Report to:

Improper conduct involving persons/entities/activities falling under the SC’s purview.

SC
Head, Investor Affairs and Complaints

2.

What is the purpose and application of the WPA?

In brief, the WPA was enacted by Parliament for:

a)

combating corruption and other wrongdoings by encouraging and facilitating disclosures of improper conduct in the public and private sector;

b)

protecting persons making those disclosures from detrimental action; and

c)

providing for the matters disclosed to be investigated and dealt with.

WPA applies to disclosures of improper conduct by a whistleblower made to any enforcement agency.

3.

Who is a whistleblower under the WPA?

Under the WPA, a whistleblower is a person who makes a disclosure of improper conduct to an enforcement agency based on his reasonable belief that:

  • any person has engaged, is engaging or is preparing to engage in improper conduct; and

  • such disclosure is not specifically prohibited by any written law.

4.

What is improper conduct?

Improper conduct means any conduct which if proved, would constitute a disciplinary offence or a criminal offence.

5.

Is SC an enforcement agency within the context of WPA?

Yes, the SC is an enforcement agency as defined under Section 2 of the WPA.

6.

What criteria must I fulfil to be an eligible whistleblower under the WPA when making a disclosure to the SC?

You must fulfil all the following criteria to be an eligible whistleblower under the WPA:

a)

you must disclose your identity and contact details. As such, you may not remain anonymous. The SC must be able to:

i)

verify your identity; and

ii)

contact you;

b)

you must not have disclosed the information or any part of it to any other person;

c)

you must disclose information via the accepted mode of disclosure as set out by the SC;

d)

your disclosure of improper conduct relates to an entity or individual under the purview of the SC;

e)

your disclosure is not vexatious or frivolous; and

f)

your disclosure is not specifically prohibited by any written law.

7.

Under the WPA, a whistleblower must not disclose the confidential information or any part of it to any other person. Who would be regarded as “any other person”?

  • Examples of “any other person” would include but not be limited to family and friends and work colleagues. For the purpose of WPA, please note that a spouse or legal counsel would not be considered a third party.
  • If you require the help of an interpreter to communicate with the SC, please let us know and where possible, we will arrange for someone authorised by the SC to be available for this purpose.

8.

What protection will be made available to me under the WPA?

You will be given the following protection:

a)

protection of confidential information;

b)

protection from civil and criminal action (where you are not a party to the improper conduct); and

c)

protection against detrimental action. This protection, will, where applicable, be extended to persons related to or associated with you.

Note

1.

Confidential information includes:

a)

information about the identity, occupation, residential address, work address or whereabouts of a whistleblower and a person against whom a whistleblower has made a disclosure of improper conduct

b)

information disclosed by a whistleblower; and

c)

information that, if disclosed, may cause detriment to any person.

2.

Detrimental action includes:

a)

any act causing injury, loss or damage;

b)

intimidation or harassment;

c)

interference with the lawful employment or livelihood (as defined in the WPA) of the whistleblower or persons related to or associated with the whistleblower, (where applicable); and

d)

a threat to take any of the action referred above.

3.

Related persons are those who are closely associated with the whistleblower and are most likely to be impacted by the detrimental action caused by the disclosure. Eligibility will be determined by the SC on the facts of each case.

9.

How do I disclose information to the SC under the WPA?

  • To qualify for protection under the WPA, the information must be submitted to the SC via one of the following modes:

    a)

    Walk-in

    b)

    Writing (i.e. by post or by hand in a sealed envelope)

    c)

    Email or fax

    Where the initial disclosure is not in writing, the disclosure must be reduced in writing by the whistleblower or by an officer of the SC and confirmed as accurate by the whistleblower.

  • The SC would also need to be able to verify the identity of the whistleblower to its satisfaction, in order for the protection to apply. This would require you to come to the SC at some point, for the purposes of verifying your identity.

10.

What happens if I disclose information via telephone?

Those who submit information to the SC via telephone would need to resubmit the information via one of the accepted modes of disclosure stated in Question 8 above.

11.

Can I submit my information anonymously?

No. You must provide the SC with your complete verifiable details of your identity and contact information to qualify for protection under the WPA. This is because in order for an individual to be protected, they must be identifiable and contactable.

12.

If I am unwilling to disclose my identity, does that mean that the information provided to the SC will not be looked into?

The SC will still look into the information submitted anonymously under our normal complaints process. Confidentiality of the information will be maintained. However our ability to properly investigate the matter may be curtailed due to the inability to obtain necessary further information or clarification.

13.

In what circumstances would my protection be revoked?

  • Your protection under the WPA would be revoked where:

    a)

    you have participated in the improper conduct disclosed;

    b)

    you have wilfully made in your disclosure of improper conduct, a material statement which you know or believe to be false or which you did not believe to be true;

    c)

    the disclosure of improper conduct is frivolous or vexatious;

    d)

    the disclosure of improper conduct principally involves questioning the merits of government policy, including policy of a public body;

    e)

    the disclosure of improper conduct is made solely or substantially with the motive of avoiding dismissal or other disciplinary action;

    f)

    you, in the course of making the disclosure or providing further information, commit an offence under the WPA; or

  • Your protection under the WPA may be revoked should you disclose the confidential information or any part thereof to any other person subsequent to making the disclosure of improper conduct to the SC.

14.

What must you do once the SC has granted you protection under the WPA?

a)

You must be contactable and must update the SC with any changes as to your contact details as soon as possible.

b)

You must always safeguard the confidential information and not disclose the improper conduct to any other person after disclosing the improper conduct to the SC.

You are reminded that pursuant to the WPA and the WPA Guidelines, if you do disclose the confidential information or any part thereof once you have been granted protection:

i)

your protection under the WPA will be revoked; and

ii)

such disclosure amounts to an offence under the WPA.

However, notwithstanding any revocation of protection under the WPA, the protection of confidentiality of your identity and confidential information disclosed to the SC will remain.