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KUWAIT CITY, July 13: The Lead Legal Auditor at the Kuwait Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) Nawaf Abdul Hamid Al-Aidan affirmed that the state is obligated to compensate a whistleblower or his/her family members, if the conditions are met and the reporter suffers from material or moral damage as a result, reports Al-Rai daily. In a press statement, he indicated that the authority accepts information from individuals and bodies, regardless of the nationality of the informant.
Al-Aidan explained that protection for the whistleblower and those in his position starts from the time of submitting the communication or requesting information. Nazaha provides several types of protection, according to the law No. 2/2016 related to its establishment. They are personal protection by concealing the identity of the whistleblower and providing security with the cooperation of the relevant authorities, changing the place of residence or workplace or both, depending on the circumstances and 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 distress calls from those who are included in the protection unit from any potential attack or threat.
He said, “As for the second type of protection, it is administrative (functional) protection. It is aimed at ensuring no action is taken against the whistleblower by his employer in changing his legal or administrative status, depriving him of his rights, distorting his standing or reputation, or any other negative measures, whatever they are, as long as there is a reason related to his role in fighting corruption. The third type of protection is legal protection by ensuring that the whistleblower is not recourse to a criminal or civil disciplinary action, regardless of what the outcome of the report is, as long as the whistleblower is in good faith.
Also, the whistleblower, the applicant for protection, must 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”. Al-Aidan 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.
He said, “In accordance with article No. 51 of the law establishing the authority, whoever discloses the identity of the whistleblower shall be punished. Disciplinary action, in accordance with article No. 52 of the same law, will be taken against those who take action against the whistleblower because of his reporting of one of the crimes stipulated in the law establishing the authority”. Al-Aidan concluded by saying, “The Kuwait 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”.