“If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just,  you have a moral obligation to do something about it.” – John Lewis[1]

In recent years, more and more countries around the world have enacted laws regulating the disclosure of illegal practices and the protection of whistleblowers.

In the Republic of Moldova, the law on integrity whistleblowers was adopted on the 12th of July 2018. The law regulates the disclosures of illegal practices within public and private entities, whistleblowers’ rights and their protection measures, the powers of the authorities responsible for examining such disclosures, and the competences of the authorities responsible for whistleblowers’ protection. Hence, the overall purpose of the above-mentioned law is to establish an effective mechanism for denouncing illegal practices and protecting whistleblowers.

From left to right: Elena BEDROS (Head of Legislation and Anti-corruption proofing Directorate), Stela RUSU (Deputy head of the International Cooperation Directorate), Mihail SCUTARI (Investigation Officer)
From left to right: Elena BEDROS (Head of Legislation and Anti-corruption proofing Directorate), Stela RUSU (Deputy head of the International Cooperation Directorate), Mihail SCUTARI (Investigation Officer)

The National Anti-corruption Centre (NAC) of the Republic of Moldova is the authority responsible for examining the external disclosures of illegal practices, but it is not the only task. Given that this is a new and complex area for our country, NAC has also launched public awareness campaigns and trainings of public officials. These campaigns are intended to promote integrity and anti-corruption standards and to educate society and public officials in the active spirit of denouncing corruption.  At the same time, NAC is also conducting the study “Whistleblowing in Moldova: legislation and mechanisms”, for the purpose of comparing the international best practices with the current situation in the Republic of Moldova. The study compares disclosing illegal practices, in order to detect the most important problems in the field and identify possible solutions to remedy them.

Given the wide range of activities NAC is carrying out in order to promote whistleblowing, the training of its employees in this field is crucial.  Therefore, the course “Successful Strategies and Best Practices in Whistleblower Casework: Defense, Investigations and Resolution” organized by the International Anti-Corruption Academy (08.11.2021-04.12.2021) was very important and had a major impact, as it was attended by three NAC’s employees.

The course, which was a highly practical one, offered a unique combination of skills and knowledge that is required to competently and carefully receive, assess and investigate whistleblower’s reports and examine retaliation complaints.

The course participants had an unprecedented opportunity to be taught by international experts such as Stephen M. Kohn, Mark Worth and Siri Nelson. Their valuable practical knowledge has definitely contributed to the development of skills in this area, especially in handling and investigating actual and hypothetical cases. At the same time, NAC’s representatives at the IACA course learned about whistleblowers’ protection laws and policies around the world, their representation and defense against retaliation, media and public communications, personal support, advice and assistance, and more.

Thus, the participants took full advantage of the interactive lectures and the reading materials offered during the course. Undoubtedly, the knowledge gained in this training will be extremely useful in the process of investigating whistleblowers’ reports, and in promoting the denunciation of corruption acts.

In conclusion, on behalf of the NAC employees who attended this series of lectures together with me, I would like to thank the entire IACA team for organizing the valuable training regarding successful strategies and best practices in whistleblower casework.

It is important to know that in a challenging world, there are people who will always support us in fulfilling our common goal: eradicating corruption and establishing the rule of law.

[1] John Robert Lewis (21.02.1940 – 17.07.2020) – American civil rights leader and politician

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