Whistleblower Rewards around the World

As of April 2021, at least 16 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia had in place monetary reward programs for whistleblowers. This number is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. Many other countries are considering paying rewards to citizen crime-fighters, and we are supporting these efforts by providing policy advice and research materials to lawmakers and the public at large.

The U.S. continues to have the best global whistleblower reward program, and its anti-bribery law enforcement efforts were described by the OECD as "remarkable." The OECD lead examiners who reviewed these programs in 2020 acknowledged that whistleblowing under U.S. law "has played an important role in detecting" bribery, and that the OECD supports "strong incentives" that have given whistleblowers "confidentiality guarantees, financial incentives, as well as remedies."

Whistleblower Reward Programs

We make no representation as to whether these reward programs
are effective in practice, and make no recommendation as to
whether you should file claims within these programs.
Contact us for more information and assistance.

Canada

The Ontario Securities Commission announced in November 2020 that it had awarded C$585,000 (US$450,000) to three people who passed on “timely, specific and credible information” that helped the agency recover public funds. The agency said all three people provided “extensive and ongoing assistance” by participating in many meetings and supplying additional evidence. One person provided a technical analysis of securities violations that the agency said “would have otherwise been difficult to detect."

 

The Ontario Commission’s Whistleblower Program has paid whistleblowers more than C$8.6 million (US$6.6 million) since it began in July 2016. The agency pays up to C$5 million (US$3.9 million) for information on misconduct including illegal insider trading or tipping, abusive short selling, and corporate disclosure violations.

Status: Active program that has issued rewards

Kenya

In November 2020 President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered rewards for tax fraud whistleblowers to be more than doubled to Sh5 million (US$45,000). "This will improve the trust and confidence of taxpayers in the tax system,” Kenyatta said, “as well as allowing the State to dramatically reduce revenue leakage and recover taxes that had been lost.” The Kenya Revenue Authority’s iWhistle portal enables people to report tax crimes anonymously. Kenyatta announced the new system at Kenya’s Taxpayers Day celebration on Nov. 6 in Nairobi.

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Hungary

People who report price fixing, illegal collusion, bid rigging or other unfair and restrictive market practices are entitled to a reward of up to 1 percent of fines imposed by the Competition Council. The maximum award is HUF 50 million (US$170,000). If more than one person provides indispensable evidence, each person is entitled to a reward. The 1996 Competition Act was amended in 2009 to include this reward program.

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Republic of Korea

People are entitled to monetary rewards of up to KRW 3 billion (US$3 million) if a report results directly in the recovery of, or increase in, revenues to the central or local governments – including penalties, confiscation, fines, and other dispositions or judgments prescribed by Presidential Decree.

This program is part of the 2011 Act on the Protection of Public Interest Whistleblowers and is administered by the Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission. It ranks only behind the US as the world's largest and most successful whistleblower reward program.

Status: Active program that has issued rewards

Lithuania

Under the 2017 Law on Protection of Whistleblowers, people who report "valuable information" about certain violation to authorities are eligible for monetary rewards "proportionate to the damage caused or likely to be caused by the infringement." Rewards are not capped.

Status: No rewards known to be issued; five applications had been rejected as of February 2020

Malaysia

Under the 2010 Whistleblower Protection Act 2010, people may be paid monetary rewards for reporting improper conduct or whistleblower retaliation. Rewards are left to the discretion of authorities.

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Montenegro

Under the 2014 Law on Prevention of Corruption, whistleblowers may receive between 3-5 percent of funds or property recovered as a result of their report. The amount is based on the whistleblower's contribution compared to the amount recovered. Rewards can be paid by an authority, a company, or other legal person or entrepreneur.

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Nigeria

Under a whistleblower policy adopted by the Federal Executive Council in December 2016, the Finance Ministry pays monetary rewards of 2.5% to 5.0% of funds recovered. In order to qualify, a person must provide information leading directly to the "voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets. The information must be previously unknown to authorities and not otherwise publicly available.

In May 2018 the Ministry announced rewards of US$1.35 million had been issued to 14 people. The cases led to the recovery of $41.1 million from companies that had "consistently evaded and avoided paying tax for years," according to a media report. The Ministry's Whistleblowing Portal – FMF-Whistle – enables people to securely report information on financial violations, mismanagement of public funds and assets, fraud and theft.

Status: Active program that has issued rewards.

Research for this page was conducted in partnership with
Theo Nyreröd of the
Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics.

Pakistan

Under the 2014 Competition Regulations on Reward Payment to Informants, the Competition Commission may pay a reward of Rs. 200,000 to Rs. 2 million (US$1,200 to US$12,000) to people who report certain violations of the Competition Act. These include restricting or distorting competition, market sharing, price-fixing, limiting technical developments, and collusion in tendering or bidding.

 

Rewards also are included in the 1997 Act to Eradicate Corruption and Corrupt Practices from Public Offices, and the 1999 National Accountability Ordinance.

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Peru

Peru announced in March 2020 what reportedly is Latin America’s first program aimed at fighting cartels by rewarding people who report anti-competitive behavior. The National Institute for Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) said it will pay up to PEN 400,000 (US$130,000) to people whose assistance proves effective and “especially valuable.” An agency official said the program will “send across the message that it will become more and more costly to participate in a cartel in Peru.”

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Slovakia

Under the 2019 Act on the on the Protection of Whistle-blowers, people may receive a reward of up to 50 times the minimum wage if their report leads to a criminal indictment, or a plea agreement or other agreement in a criminal proceeding.

 

Under the 2001 Act on Protection of Competition, people may receive of reward equal to 1 percent of fines imposed by the Antimonopoly Office for restricting competition. The maximum award is €100,000 (US$118,000).

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Taiwan

In January 2021 the Financial Supervisory Commission announced  whistleblower rewards were being increased tenfold (up to TWD 4 million or US$140,000) for reporting serious illegal financial activities, and fivefold for minor illegal financial activities. The agency said the change will "improve the incentives for reporting fraud and maintain the order of the financial market."

Status: No rewards known to be issued

Ukraine

Under 2019 amendments to the Law on Prevention of Corruption in Relation to Whistleblowers, people who report a corruption-related crime may receive a reward equal to 10 percent of the damage caused by the crime. The damage of the crime must be at least UAH 10 million (US$420,000). Rewards are paid after a criminal conviction and are capped at 3,000 times the minimum wages. If there is more than one whistleblower, the reward is divided equally among them.

Status: No rewards known to be issued

UK

The Revenue and Customs agency announced in November 2020 that tax evasion whistleblowers were paid £473,000 (US$635,000) from April 2019 to March 2020. This is a 63 percent jump over the previous year, when the agency paid £290,250 (US$390,000). The agency did not release any details on these cases, but the accounting firm BDO said the increase suggests more people are reporting tax crimes. The rewards are based on the amount of taxes recovered, the value of loss prevented, and time saved in working cases.

Status: Active program that has issued rewards

US

The US has the most and largest whistleblower reward programs in the world. The categories are listed on the Center's website here, and the individual laws and programs are listed here.

Status: Many active programs that have issued rewards

Vietnam

Under the 2011 Law on Denunciations, people, agencies and organizations with "achievements" or that are  "meritorious in preventing damage to the state shall be materially and spiritually commended."

Status: No rewards known to be issued