The successful passing of the Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2023, at the sitting of Parliament on Monday, November 20, 2023, marks a significant stride in the government’s commitment to good governance, transparency, and accountability. The Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2023 is aimed at safeguarding individuals who report illicit activities within the public service.
As per the Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2023, a whistleblower is defined as an individual who exposes any kind of information or activity deemed illegal or corrupt within an organization, particularly in the public sector. The primary objective of the legislation is to provide these individuals with the necessary protection to report such activities without fear of reprisal. This thereby fostering an environment of transparency and integrity in government operations.
The debate on the Bill was spearheaded by Honourable Garth Wilkin, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs. AG Wilkin reflected on the government’s mandate since taking office 15 months ago. He noted that upon assuming office, ministers were tasked by the electorate with upholding principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability, as outlined in the St. Kitts and Nevis Labour Party’s 2022 Manifesto.
According to AG Wilkin, the bill is a crucial step towards fulfilling that mandate. It not only empowers individuals to report corrupt or illegal activities but also strengthens the Anti-corruption Act by providing a secure framework for whistleblowers.
The roots of the Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2023, delve deep into the administration’s commitment by words and actions, to transparency, accountability and the continuous refinement of our good governance transformation legal framework. As a nation, we have made significant strides in bolstering our institutions, fortifying the foundations of justice and upholding the principle of good governance.Attorney General Wilkin
The new legislation is expected to significantly enhance the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts in St. Kitts and Nevis. By protecting whistleblowers, the Bill ensures that those with knowledge of corrupt or illegal activities can come forward without fear.