Tom Watson – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Cabinet Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Tom Watson on 2016-06-07.

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to promote a whistleblowing culture across the civil service.

Matthew Hancock

This Government has taken a number of steps to ensure effective whistleblowing practices are in place across Departments and to raise the profile and awareness of whilstleblowing. Updated and refreshed model whistleblowing policies are in place across all departments, providing information on sources of support available to whistleblowers, including access to employee assistance programmes, and advice on accessing legal support. In addition, we have improved support for Nominated Offices, and Departments have introduced dedicated whistleblowing hotlines and are publishing case studies on departmental intranet sites to build confidence that cases will be heard fairly and appropriately.

The Cabinet Office has developed a new data collection tool to enable HR Directors to collect information on whistleblowing cases including how cases have been resolved, identification of systemic issues, and lessons learned. Departments are using this tool to report to their Departmental Boards, and to the Cabinet Office, on a 6 monthly basis.

More details on action taken by specific Departments, including the first set of data collated by Departments, can be found in the Cabinet Office’s recent report to the Public Accounts Committee: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/public-accounts-committee/whistleblowing-recall/written/31692.html