Blowing the whistle for personal gain in the Republic of South Africa : an option for consideration in the fight against fraud?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Financially rewarding whistleblowers for information that has led to recovery of fraud losses suffered by government is common practice under the United States of America’s False Claims Act of 1986. However, a whistleblower in the Republic of South Africa is not afforded similar treatment in terms of section 9(1)(b) of the Protected Disclosures Act (26 of 2000) of the Republic of South Africa. In certain circumstances, whistleblowers may not even be protected against occupational detriment resulting from the disclosure. Similar principles of the Protected Disclosures Act in terms of rewarding whistleblowers also apply in the United Kingdom. The objective of this article is to establish whether rewarding whistleblowers should be considered in the fight against fraud in the Republic of South Africa with a similar view of the United States of America’s False Claims Act. In order to address the research objective, the adopted methodology can be described as a conceptual review of whistleblowing policies and regulations in the public sector, specifically focusing on rewarding whistleblowers. This article, therefore, evaluates available literature to determine whether the Republic of South Africa should consider the False Claims Act route by reviewing its legal position, United States of America and the United Kingdom. It further considers whistleblowing as a fraud risk management tool and raises the question whether the current legal obligations on public officials to report fraud are effective in curbing it.