TI Ireland has been operating the country’s only free-phone non-profit helpline for whistleblowers, witness and victims of wrongdoing since 2011. Its clients have included Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe and former Garda John Wilson and it advised the Government on the new Protected Disclosures Act.
In 2015, TI Ireland published our Speak Up Report 2015 based on data collected from over 500 whistleblowers, witnesses and victims of corruption who contacted the helpline. The report suggested that the risk of corruption and other forms of wrongdoing is relatively high in Local Government and the Health Service, as well as Social Services including Charities. TI Ireland also published a list of recommendations to address systemic shortcomings that hinder efforts to combat corruption:
- Improved and proactive intelligence sharing among law enforcement agencies and other state bodies should be fostered either through the establishment of a national anti-corruption agency or an inter-agency task force on corruption and white-collar crime.
- Provide agencies such as the Standards in Public Office Commission, the anticipated Planning Regulator and the Health Inspection Quality Authority with powers and resources to gather intelligence and investigate allegations of wrongdoing with or without a prior complaint from a member of the public.
- Local Authorities statutory Fraud and Anti-Corruption Alert Plans should be promoted, and including training and education should be introduced as part of an overhaul the local government ethics framework.
- Increase education and awareness-raising on corruption and anti-corruption across all sectors.
- The introduction of a ban on any public official receiving gifts or entertainment during the course of their employment, as well as a requirement for declarations of interest to cover liabilities, as well as income and assets, of public officials and their families.