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Would the Singaporean approach to whistleblower protection laws work in Australia?


McLaren, J and Kendall, W and Rook, L, Would the Singaporean approach to whistleblower protection laws work in Australia?, Australasian Accounting, Business & Finance Journal, 13, (1) pp. 90 -108. ISSN 1834-2000 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Australasian Accounting Business and Finance Journal and Authors

DOI: doi:10.14453/aabfj.v13i1.6


Federal, State and Territory Governments have enacted a range of statutory laws to protect whistleblowers. The aim of these laws is to provide protection to those individuals in the private and public sector who report unlawful acts made by organizations, contractors and their employees. Provided the disclosure is made in ‘good faith’, the person making the disclosure is afforded protection from being sued for defamation, breach of confidence under their employment contract or for breach of their common law fiduciary duty. This paper has two purposes; first, the objective of the Australian Government in introducing new whistleblowing laws that extend protection to the consumer protection area and taxation, namely the Treasury Laws Amendment (Whistleblowers) Bill 2017 - Exposure Draft is examined. Secondly, an alternative approach to whistleblowing is considered. By way of contrast, a Singaporean approach which heavily relies on self-reporting and an internal investigation involving an Audit Committee of the corporation is critically examined to assess the potential for introducing a self-reporting approach in Australia. Our analysis finds that in Singapore, culture plays a role in the attitude of the Singaporean employee contemplating reporting unlawful activity and, more importantly in how the disclosure is treated by the corporation or public institution. This paper adds to the literature which examines alternative approaches and attitudes to whistleblowing by providing a comparative discussion of the Australian and Singaporean legal approaches.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:whistleblower laws, Singapore, Australia, culture, Confucian values
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting theory and standards
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Ability and disability
UTAS Author:McLaren, J (Dr John McLaren)
ID Code:132748
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2019-05-20
Last Modified:2021-07-06
Downloads:17 View Download Statistics

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