Whistleblower protection is essential to empower people who uncover corruption, according to International Federation of Accountants Executive Director Kevin Dancey: “IFAC supports the adoption of whistleblower protection legislation in all jurisdictions in line with principles advanced by the G20, the OECD, and the International Bar Association.” Looking at the G20 Anti-Corruption Plan, he identified areas where accountants are positioned to tackle corruption. Besides whistleblower protections, he believes accountants can bring their skillsets to help organizations protect against money laundering and can improve public sector transparency to illuminate illicit cash flows, transactions and budgeting for public scrutiny.

On December 16, 2019 the European Union’s Directive on the “Protection of Persons Reporting on Breaches of Union Law” ( the “Whistleblower Protection Directive”) went into effect and the EU’s 27 member states are expected to bring its provisions into their national legal frameworks by December 17, 2021. The Directive states: “Members of professions other than lawyers and health care providers should be able to qualify for protection under this Directive when they report information protected by applicable professional rules, provided that reporting that information is necessary for the purposes of revealing a breach falling within the scope of this Directive.” Among the areas mentioned in the Directive’s material scope are: financial services, products and markets, and prevention of money laundering.

The Directive aims to protect those who report on breaches of EU law by preventing various forms of retaliation, including: suspension, loss of business or income, blacklisting, medical referrals or cancellation of a license.

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