Estimating the economic benefits of whistleblower protection in public procurement
Final report - Study
This study outlines an economic case for whistleblower protection in the European Union (EU). It focuses on the public procurement sector, a major component of the economy and an attractive hotspot for corruption. In this context, whistleblower protection can encourage the reporting of corrupt practices, resulting in less misuse of public funds. The study involved a detailed investigation into the costs faced by the public sector to set up and maintain whistleblower protection in seven European countries where whistleblower provisions are in place (France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands,... Romania, the Slovak Republic, and the United Kingdom). The actual potential of a well-functioning whistleblower protection system to prevent misuse of public funds in public procurement was estimated through economic modelling. The quantitative findings clearly demonstrate the economic value of whistleblower protection. For all of the countries and scenarios considered, the potential greatly exceeds the costs. The qualitative evidence gathered from the countries sheds light on good practices and lessons learned for effective and efficient implementation. What remains for policymakers is not to justify the economic case, but rather to determine how such systems can be effectively and efficiently designed to realise the full potential for citizens across the EU.