A whistleblower (whistle-blower or whistle blower)
is a person who
exposes misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity occurring in an organization. The
alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule,
regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health and safety violations,
and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other
people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement
agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).
Example of Douglas Durand As vice president of sales at TAP Pharmaceutical Products,
Durand suspected the company was conspiring with doctors in overcharging Medicare.
Instead of gathering evidence and blowing the whistle, Durand spent 7 months gathering
information, quit, and then filed a lawsuit against TAP. Durand spent the next 8 years in
cooperation with the government in order to build the case. Durand received $126 million
in the settlement. Trouble surfaced after the settlement case when prosecutors filed
criminal fraud charges against TAP executives. Durand's story fell apart as defense
attorneys poked holes in his claims. Durand's example shows the ugly side of whistle
blowing, the greed from an ill-intentioned whistle blower.
3. Type of whistle blowing
Most whistleblowers are internal whistleblowers, who report misconduct on a fellow employee
or superior within their company. One of the most interesting questions with respect to internal
whistleblowers is why and under what circumstances people will either act on the spot to stop
illegal and otherwise unacceptable behavior or report it.
There are some reason to believe
that people are more likely to take action with respect to unacceptable behavior, within an
organization, if there are complaint systems that offer not just options dictated by the planning
and control organization, but a choice of options for absolute confidentiality.
External whistleblowers, however, report misconduct to outside persons or entities. In these
cases, depending on the information's severity and nature, whistleblowers may report the
misconduct to lawyers, the media, law enforcement or watchdog agencies, or other local,
state, or federal agencies. In some cases, external whistleblowing is encouraged by offering
monetary reward. This is, however, an act of treason if one has signed non-disclosure
The third party service involves utilising an external agency to inform the individuals at the top
of the organisational pyramid of misconduct, without disclosing the identity of the
whistleblower. This is a relatively new phenomenon and has been developed due to
whistleblower discrimination. International Whistleblowers is an example of an organisation
involved in delivering a third party service for whistleblowers.
4. Advantages and disadvantages.
Advantage: Exposing Unethical Behavior
The whistle-blower serves a vital function in government and business. When corporations and
government agencies step over legal and ethical lines, whistle-blowers can make these practices
public knowledge, which can lead to violators being held accountable. The added scrutiny that
comes with criminal investigations, civil lawsuits and media attention can influence the behavior
of similar organizations. Companies and government offices that engage in similar misconduct
may have previously believed they could get away with their bad behavior, but the ripple effect
of the whistle-blower's efforts can bring about reforms.
Advantage: Legal Protection
The federal government's Whistleblower Protection Program protects employees who report
violations of various workplace safety, environmental, financial reform and securities laws. The
program protects from retaliation workers who blow the whistle on their employer's behavior.
Retaliatory action can include dismissal, demotion, denial of benefits and reduction of working
hours. Companies found to be in violation of the whistle-blower protection laws can face fines,
suspension of government contracts and civil lawsuits.
Disadvantage: Diminished Career Prospects
The attention that a whistle-blower case brings, both to the employee and the company, can
have a downside. Media interviews, legal testimony and government investigations can affect
the whistle-blower's career prospects. While the outside world may view whistle-blowers as
heroes for revealing corrupt behavior, industry insiders and hiring managers may see them as
disloyal or indiscreet for not keeping company secrets and industry practices under wraps. The
media attention may lead to the whistle-blower being blacklisted in his industry.
Disadvantage: Personal Complications
Although whistle-blowers may understand that their revelations serve the greater good, they
also often endure personal problems from their actions. Media outlets in search of a story will
delve deeper into the whistle-blowers' personal lives. Legal complications from criminal
investigations and civil lawsuits against the company might require them to hire attorneys to
defend themselves. They may also receive threats of retaliation from former supervisors and co-
workers. All of this added stress can cause severe health problems and fractures in their
5. Kasus whistleblowing di Indonesia.
Contoh Kasus Whistle Blowing :
Jakarta - Terpidana kasus korupsi pengamanan Pilgub Jabar dan perkara PT Salmah
Arowana Lestari (SAL), Susno Duadji dieksekusi tim jaksa dari Kejaksaan Tinggi DKI
yang dibantu Kejati Jabar dan Kejari Bandung. Eksekusi mantan Kabareskrim tersebut
berlangsung panas. Pengacara Susno bahkan sesumbar pengawal Susno akan menembak
siapa pun yang berani mengeksekusi bosnya.
Selain dua kasus di atas, sejumlah kasus lain juga menunjukan dugaan keterlibatan Susno
di dalamnya. Mulai dari kasus 'Cicak versus Buaya', bailout Bank Century, kasus
pembunuhan yang melibatkan Antasari Azhar sebagai terdakwa dalam pembunuhan
Nasrudin Zulkarnaen, hingga mafia pajak Gayus Tambunan. Susno bahkan sempat
'melawan' institusinya sendiri karena mengungkap modus makelar proyek di tubuh Polri
hingga akhirnya dia ditetapkan sebagai Whistle Blower.
Pendapat atau opini :
Untuk menjadi whistle blower bukanlah hal yang mudah karena bisa jadi pekerjaan
tersebut menjadi musuh dan saling menghancurkan. Untuk itu sebagai whistle blower
haruslah berada pada garis yang benar sehingga sebutan whistle blower tidak menjadi
boomerang oleh kehidupan diri sendiri atau orang lain.