AG: ‘Whistleblower’ payments a part of old debts

AG: ‘Whistleblower’ payments a part of old debts
Attorney General Carl Bethel. (FI:E PHOTO)

Govt. to move toward enacting whistleblowers’ protection act

Attorney General Carl Bethel put social media rumours surrounding government payments being paid to alleged ‘whistleblower’ Jonathan Ash to rest Tuesday.

He confirmed outside of cabinet office yesterday that Ash is being paid by the Ministry of Finance for contract work which government met on the books when it took office in 2017.

Ash is a key witness in two high profile extortion and bribery cases and has been labelled a whistleblower after stepping up to the plate, to cry foul play on two former government ministers.

It has been suggested that since making this bold step, he’s been ostracized and victimized – a cry that other whistleblowers say is a discouragement to others who may want to step forward.

Bethel revealed Tuesday that government has decided that it will make significant steps toward enacting legislation that will assist with the protection of whistleblowers.

“If we want to engage in a fight against corruption we must not make it absolutely impossible for persons who reveal information to survive,” Bethel said.

“There has to be a clear signal by the government that we must do what is necessary not to provide a disincentive to people who want to be honest, and people who want to create a civil and just society.”

While the government works toward remedying law books to assist with protecting whistleblowers, Bethel called for society to become a little more sensitive to persons who have come forward to assist with the fight against corruption.

“There have been persons who have been driven to the point of bankruptcy because, once they allege an act of corruption, they have been unable to secure any kind of contract or remunerative employment,” he said.

“We can be judgmental as people some time and this has proved adverse and a true disincentive to those who want to come forward to fight against corruption in society.”

However, he gave no timeline regarding when the government will introduce the proposed act.