June 3, 2019
https://www.fraudwhistleblowersblog.com/Member States of the European Union, over the last several years, have passed a series of so-called “Whistleblower Laws.” These laws are being implemented allegedly to bolster anti-corruption efforts throughout Europe. While corruption is no stranger to either side of the Atlantic, the European Union would advance their fraud fighting efforts exponentially by taking a focused look at the highly successful American False Claims Act.
France, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, as well as others, have passed or amended some type of a putative whistleblower law. Here is the issue. None of these whistleblower statutes, in our opinion, contain the basic tenents of a strong and effective whistleblower program. The development of the whistleblower statutes within the United States of America illustrates the bedrock elements of an effective and successful whistleblower law.
In 1986, the U.S. Congress amended the existing whistleblower statute, the False Claims Act, which was passed during the American Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln. The 1986 Amendments to the False Claims Act included provisions that finally gave the law real fraud combatting teeth. Examining these 1986 Amendments (and even more recent Amendments) illustrates the changes needed in the European Union member States’ whistleblowing statutes. Without such robust amendments the European Union laws will never have a real and palpable impact on fraud, waste and abuse.
The American statute, known as federal False Claims Act, or the Qui Tam Law, has at its heart the following key provisions:
The European legislative bodies still do appear to be committed (culturally or legally) to the type of whistleblowing legislation that will not make a real difference for their respective countries. Here are some of the reasons why the statutes in Europe shall continue to be as ineffective as the pre-1986 American Whistleblower Law:
While Americans and Europeans have shared and adopted approaches to governance over the centuries, their differences in efforts to curtail fraud, waste and abuse through whistleblower statutes is considerable. Europe need look no further than its young sister state across the Atlantic for lessons that may be worth billions of dollars in recoveries.
This post originally appeared on the international blog - Law, Health & Technology (www.lawhealthtech.com).
You can find more information about this topic on our False Claims Act blog: www.fraudwhistleblowersblog.com