What is the scope of application of the Whistleblower Act?
The protection extends to cases where the report concerns a breach in the areas referred to in the Whistleblower Act:
- public procurement, with the exception of defence and security procurement
- financial services, financial products and financial markets
- prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
- product safety and compliance with requirements
- transport safety
- environmental protection
- radiation and nuclear safety
- food and feed safety, animal health and animal welfare
- public health within the meaning of Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (NB: section 2 of the Whistleblower Act provides for certain exceptions)
- consumer protection
- protection of privacy and personal data, security of network and information systems.
In these areas, the Whistleblower Act applies to reports of acts or omissions
- that are punishable
- that may result in an administrative sanction of a penal nature
- that may seriously jeopardise the achievement of objectives of general interest as referred to in the legislation.
Whistleblower protection also extends to the following persons:
- persons reporting a breach of EU legislation or regulations on financial management, implementation of expenditure or collection of EU revenue or funds
- persons reporting a breach of legislation or conditions concerning the granting, use or recovery of EU or national grants or state aid
- persons reporting a breach of EU or national competition rules
- persons reporting a breach or an arrangement of EU or national legislation on the taxation of companies and entities with a view to obtaining a tax advantage contrary to the objective or purpose of the legislation
- persons reporting a breach of other EU or national legislation laid down to protect consumers.
The Whistleblower Act is not applied in the following cases:
- reporting classified documents or classified information
- reporting information covered by the secrecy obligation of healthcare personnel or the secrecy obligation of attorneys and legal counsels
- reporting information on defence and security procurements to which Article 346 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union applies
- reporting information concerning the confidentiality of a court’s decision-making, if specific provisions on it have been made
- reporting cases where a person has given their informed consent to be defined as a source of information or registered as such in databases maintained by law enforcement authorities.
Detailed information on these exceptions can be found in section 4 of the Whistleblower Act.