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Danish report: No need for whistleblower law

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Danish report: No need for whistleblower law
Danish whistleblower Hans Bøgesvang Riis was fired two years ago and had difficulties finding a new job. Friday a goverment report suggested, however, that no law is needed. Photo: David Leth Williams
15:09 CEST+02:00
Denmark does not need a special whistleblower law for public authorities, an expert committee has concluded.

The committee was commissioned by the Danish government one and a half years ago to review public employees’ freedom of expression and the possible introduction of mandatory whistleblower protections.

Instead the report recommends making it optional for public bodies to give whistleblowers regulatory safeguards, according to newspaper Berlingske Tidende (BT), which has seen a copy of the document. 

The committee started its work not long after American whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was working with European intelligence agencies to spy on European data traffic.

Snowden documents released by the Guardian in 2013 revealed that Denmark was one of the NSA’s ‘Nine Eyes’, an inner circle of countries that collaborate closely with the US intelligence agency.

The committee's report comes as a blow to supporters of greater protections for whistleblowers. 

BT on Friday reported on Hans Bøgesvang Riis, who two years ago told the press about major failings at the National Board of Industrial Injuries (Arbejdskadesstyrelsen), where he worked. He was subsequently fired and struggled to find a new job.

Separately, a Danish study from 2014 showed that one in three members of the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs (Dansk Magisterforening) knew of ”critical conditions” at their work places that the public ought to know about, but only one in eight had gone public, the newspaper said. 

Justice Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a statement on Friday that the report's recommendations would now be sent for consultation to a range of public agencies, with a deadline set for June 5th. 

But government insiders believed the new report had dealt a death blow to the proposed new whistleblower rules, BT said. 

 

 

 

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