Ellen submits Whistleblower Bill for ratification
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submitted to the National Legislature for ratification a Bill seeking to establish and strengthen the legal framework of relevant authorities to adequately protect whistleblowers and witnesses.
“As Government continuously commits to creating safe living conditions for its citizens and residents, I therefore request your kind and timely consideration to enact into law this important legislation,” Mrs. Sirleaf says in a communication submitted to the Legislature on Tuesday, 15 August.
Through the Bill, the President seeks the to empower the relevant authorities to effectively protect whistleblowers and witnesses from intimidation, fear, and other physical injuries wherein the authorities are alerted on acts of corruptions and other criminal activities and prosecution is imminent.
The “Whistleblower and Witness Protection Bill” when ratified by both Houses of Representatives and Senate will make Liberia compliant with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
A communication was sent to both plenaries of the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate on Tuesday following the submission of the instrument by President Sirleaf.
The UNCAC calls for all state parties to take appropriate measures for the protection of witnesses, experts and victims against retaliation or intimidation for their testimony.
President Sirleaf indicates that as government strives to deal with the menace of corruption, it is necessary to passage the Bill which seeks to create an atmosphere that protects whistleblowers and witnesses, making them free of intimidation and elimination.
She says whistleblowers and witnesses’ fear of physical injuries and other criminal activities whenever an exposure is made will help government achieve its objectives of sustainably minimize the acts of corruption and other serious crimes.
Mrs. Sirleaf says the Bill will protect whistleblowers and witnesses who alert the relevant authorities on corruptions and other criminal activities perpetrated in Liberia.The Houses have forwarded the Bill to their relevant committees for examination so as to advise give advice as usual in subsequent times.
By Bridgett Milton–Edited by Winston W. Parley