COMMONS

Whistleblowing

Inquiry status: government response published

Background

Whistleblowing is when an employee raises a concern about wrongdoing or malpractice in the workplace that has a public interest aspect to it. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’. Whistleblowing is important to protect and reassure the workforce, and to maintain a healthy working culture and an efficient organisation. Whistleblowing has become much more high profile in recent years: as well publicised cases such as Hillsborough and the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust inquiry have shown. A greater public need for transparency, coupled with wider access to knowledge and information, and its dissemination through social and other media, mean that there is an increasing scope to uncover and report on wrongdoing.

This inquiry will assess the systems, structures and behaviours in place to enable effective whistleblowing arrangements.

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    Glossary

    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.