The senior legal adviser at the Public Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) Nawaf Abdul Hamid Al-Aidan said the state is obliged to compensate the whistleblower, or his heirs, if the report fulfills its conditions and suffers material or moral damage as a result, pointing out that the authority receives communications from individuals and bodies regardless of the nationality of the informant.
Al-Aidan told a local Arabic daily, that protection for the whistleblower begins from the time of submitting information, and that Nazaha provides several types of protection, according to the established law 2/2016, which is personal protection, by concealing identity and providing security guards, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, and changing the place of residence or workplace or both, depending on the circumstances and the reasons, changing or monitoring private phone numbers at the request of the owner and after following the legal procedures in this regard and providing an emergency phone number to receive the distress calls concerning any potential attack or threat.
Aidan went on to say, “As for the second type of protection, it is administrative protection, ensuring that no action is taken against the whistleblower by his employer, that changes his legal or administrative status, detracts from or deprives him of his rights, or distorts his standing or reputation, or any other measures or other negative measures, whatever they are, as long as there is a reason related to his role in fighting corruption.
He added, “As for the third type, it is legal protection,, regardless of what the outcome of the report ends with, as long as the reporter was made in good faith. The whistleblower, the applicant for protection, shall submit a letter to the authority that includes an explanation of the reasons for the protection request, and the arbitrary measures he was subjected to, provided that these procedures are related to his communication submitted to the authority.
He stressed that Nazaha provides a special portal for whistleblowers, in order to provide the highest levels of confidentiality, in addition to the authority’s attendance before the Public Prosecution in the communications referred to it instead of the whistleblower in the event he requests not to reveal his personal identity, pointing out that “in accordance with Article (51 of the law establishing the authority, whoever discloses the identity of the whistleblower shall be punished, as well as disciplinary punishment in accordance with Article (52) of the same law, whoever takes action against the whistleblower because of his reporting of one of the crimes stipulated in the law establishing the authority.
He concluded by saying, “The Anti-Corruption Authority appreciates the role of whistleblowers in detecting corruption crimes and prosecuting its perpetrators. It receives reports from all individuals regardless of the whistleblower’s nationality, as well as communications submitted by authorities and companies.”