Elaine Byrne: US experience shows how it pays to reward whistleblowers

We should take note here of a Harvard study which found that whistleblowers not only responded to the opportunity of financial incentives, but that the US Department of Justice took their claims more seriously, leading overall to a win-win for the taxpayer

It is a life-changing decision for an employee to come forward with information about their firm’s wrongdoing. It can have hazardous consequences for your career, financial stability and mental health. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In May, a team of researchers from Harvard Business School published a ground-breaking report which examined the impact of financial incentives on whistleblowing in the US under the False Claims Act (FCA).

The FCA, also known as the Lincoln Law, imposes a civil liability on individuals or corporations who knowingly use a “false record or statement" to dishonestly obtain money from the government via fraud, or who conspire to do so.

The Harvard scholars compiled ...