Published 20 November 2023
Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News Source
WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTION BILL, 2023, SUCCESSFULLY PASSED INTO LAW
Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 20, 2023 (SKNIS): The Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2023, aimed at safeguarding individuals who report illicit activities within the public service, was successfully passed into law at the Sitting of Parliament on Monday, November 20, 2023, marking a significant stride in the government’s commitment to good governance, transparency, and accountability.
The Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2023, defines a whistleblower 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 this legislation is to provide these individuals with the necessary protection to report such activities without fear of reprisal, thereby fostering an environment of transparency and integrity in government operations.
The Honourable Garth Wilkin, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, spearheaded the debate on the Bill. He 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 2022 Manifesto.
This Bill, he said, 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,” said Attorney-General Wilkin. “As a nation, we have made significant strides in bolstering our institutions, fortifying the foundations of justice and upholding the principle of good governance.”
This new law 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, thereby supporting the government’s broader effort to rebuild public trust and confidence in its institutions.