By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
The Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and representatives from the private sector support the Public Service Union’s push for the drafting and implementation of whistleblower legislation.
According to Bradley, her office’s website already provides a whistle blowing feature, in which anyone with information can send an anonymous message to her office.
“For those who see or know but do not want their face out there, this is a medium for people to communicate their information,” Bradley said.
Bradley also said that it is safe to use rge website because her office cannot access information such as who sent the message.
She encouraged anyone with information to go to audit.gov.bz and use the whistleblower tab.
Bradley said that protection for whistle blowers is very important, She added that it would be significant for such a piece of legislation to be passed in Belize since it would create a friendlier whistleblower environment.
She added that currently people with information are afraid to come forward for fear of losing their jobs or facing other repercussions.
Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Arturo Vasquez and Senator representing the private sector, Mark Lizarraga, both agree that passing whistleblower legislation in Belize would be a positive step.
Lizarraga described the PSU’s push for the legislation as an excellent recommendation and said that such a move is long overdue.
In January, PSU President Marvin Blades indicated that the Public Service Union would lobby for a whistleblower Bill, to protect public officers from becoming scapegoats in instances of corruption.
Blades said that the proposals were made to the government as part of the negotiations between the PSU, the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), and the government.
Blades asserted that having such legislation in place would help to solve some of the issues involving Ministerial and public official corruption.
Blades said, however, that they have not started to draft that Bill yet, but the PSU will push to ensure that a such a Bill is brought forward.