The trend of falling voluntary disclosures of corruption in the government appears to be reversing with the government strengthening norms to protect identity of the whistleblowers.
The CVC — mandated to monitor public interest disclosure and protection of informants — has witnessed a dip of 23% in total number of complaints received between 2012 and 2013. In 2013, 698 complaints were received as against 804 in 2012 and 901 in 2011.
However, the body has received about 450 complaints in the first six months of 2014 which indicates that the trend may be reversing.
Venkatesh Nayak, programme office in Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) says that as the CVC does not publicise details of action taken on whistleblower complaints and the outcomes of its investigation, whistle blowing on corruption is not an incentive for honest and sincere government officials.
“The CVC has to do a lot more hard work to inform people about the details of its achievements to inspire confidence. It is only then civil servants would start exposing corruption and impact of public disclosure resolution of 2004 could be seen,” he said.
The lack of transparency on the part of CVC to whistleblower complaints is also a reason for a few complaints received despite the perception of high corruption in government offices, especially those dealing directly with people.
That was evident from the public disclosure complaint data made available to Parliament in the current session. The maximum complaints were received against the railways, followed by public sector banks and income tax department. There were complaints against other public dealing offices like the municipal corporation of Delhi.
Several complaints were also received against prominent public sector undertakings like Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Damodar Valley Corporation, the information collected by CHRI says.
Things may, however, change for better when the whistleblower protection act comes into force. The law was notified on 12 May 2014 but has not become effective as the department of personnel and training is still to finalise draft regulations making the law operative.