February 08, 2011

As Costs Discourage New Whistleblowers, Where Are Ombuds?

In spite of a plethora of financial protections for whistleblowers (including the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill) and growing numbers of corporate ethics and compliance officers, legal experts say that whistleblowing is unlikely to increase significantly.

Although there are financial and intangible benefits for exposing waste and fraud, whistleblowers face long delays, investigations and press inquiries, and a stigma that can affect future job searches. Experts and whistleblowers say that it is rarely satisfying. Meanwhile, businesses have learned that effective ethics and compliance programs will improve outcomes in enforcement decisions and so are hiring more ethics and compliance officers. The role of Organizational Ombuds in this changing landscape is rarely considered and largely uncertain. (CEB Blog; Law.com; Ethics Resource Center Press Release.)

1 comment:

  1. NB The plaintiffs' attorneys in the Pfizer case were skeptical of whistleblower protections and sought an ombuds program as part of their settlement.