Mandatory percentage awards, protection of whistleblowers’ identities, and encouragement of reporting through internal compliance programs are among the elements of a successful whistleblower program according to Phillips & Cohen attorney Erika Kelton.
In an article on the Forbes site Kelton points out that the success of the US False Claims Act has resulted in the return of over $35 billion to the US Treasury. The adoption of similar legislation in other countries could benefit their taxpayers as well.
Kelton notes that the Securities & Exchange Commission had a tip line for years before Dodd-Frank created the SEC whistleblower program. But the tip line didn’t motivate the agency to investigate the evidence it received of Madoff’s wrongdoing. An effective program must encourage these investigations.
Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, responsible for the enforcement of the Anti-Bribery Act, is facing serious cutbacks in its enforcement budget. Whistleblower incentives could promote the public-private partnerships that have made the False Claims Act such an effective tool in fighting fraud and corruption.