Whistleblowing laws have been implemented by many jurisdictions to increase the quantity of reports on cases against corruption, fraud, misconduct and other illegal activities. Similar strategies are currently under debate in Brazil, a country that is trailing other OECD members in the protection of whistleblowers.
Sergio Moro, Minister of Justice, was appointed in 2019 by Brazil’s new president and has the task of changing Brazil’s whistleblowing landscape. In his first year in office, he presented an anti-crime package (Bill No. 10,372) with 19 points to amend several laws, including Law 13,698 of 2018, to provide more incentives and protections for whistleblowers.
In December 2019 the Brazilian House of Representatives approved Moro’s anti-crime package but removed 11 of the 19 amendments. One amendment not removed by the House concerns protections and monetary incentives for whistleblowers.
Under the still-developing 10,372 law project, article 15 amends to Law 13,698 to provide protections and financial incentives for whistleblowers in way that’s similar to most OECD countries in three key ways:
First, the amendment ensures that anyone has the right to report information on crimes against the public administration, administrative offenses, or any actions or omissions that are detrimental to the public interest.
Second, the amendment provides full protection against retaliation and exemption from civil or criminal liability in relation to the report, unless the whistleblower has knowingly provided false information or evidence.
Third, confidentiality – the whistleblower will be entitled to remain anonymous.
The amendment goes further, however, offering financial incentives of up to five percent of the recovered amount.
Later this year, the anti-crime package will go before Brazil’s Senate. If approved, Brazil will be one step closer to having a whistleblower regime equivalent to its OECD peers.