The leading attorney for Organizational Ombuds has written an article for the National Constitution Center’s blog. As he has in other pieces, Howard explains the incentives that discourage people from reporting workplace misconduct. He concludes that more Ombuds would fill the governmental need for corporate governance reform while safeguarding the interests of individuals.
Recent American history has demonstrated the need for more careful oversight of corporate conduct and the importance of the whistleblower as an agent of sound business practice. But as Congress’s efforts demonstrate, legislative attempts to fix our corporate governance problems—by offering bounties, sanctioning anonymous reporters and encouraging reports of misconduct directly from employee to the SEC—are not likely to be successful and could prove to create more problems than they solve. A better answer would seem to lie in corporations aggressively addressing their own internal procedures in a way that safeguards constructive reporting and, through that, mitigates the need for governmental intervention.