Italian law permits its citizens to report frauds against the U.S. Government under the False Claims Act, or violations of the provisions of the Securities & Exchange Act, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, or Commodities Exchange Act.
What disclosures are currently protected?
Italy passed an overarching whistleblower law in 2017 called Law No 179/2017. This law protects both public and private employees who blow the whistle on employment-related misconduct from retaliation.
Employees in the public sector may report “unlawful conduct(s) of which the employee of the public entity became aware of by reason or his or her employment” to the person at their office who is in charge of corruption prevention and transparency, to the National Anticorruption Authority (“ANAC”), or to the judicial or accounting authority. Private sector employees, however, are limited to making internal disclosures. Furthermore, private companies are only required to provide the safeguards for whistleblower reporting prescribed by the law if they are already required to have compliance programs under Legislative Decree 231/2001.
Additionally, there are no reward provisions for successful whistleblowers in Italian law. Therefore, whistleblowers, particularly private sector whistleblowers, may be better off reporting to U.S. regulators, where applicable, at least until the transposition of the Whistleblower Directive is complete.
Can Italian whistleblowers receive rewards?
There is no law in Italy providing whistleblowers rewards, however, they may receive rewards through U.S. laws
Recent updates and future legislative developments
Italy has just begun the process of transposing the EU Whistleblower Directive. Therefore, it is unclear what improvements will or will not be made to the current legal regime.
Can/should Italian whistleblowers report to U.S. officials?
No law in Italy currently prohibits Italian citizens from reporting frauds against the U.S. government under the False Claims Act, or violations of provisions of other statutes including the Securities & Exchange Act, Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, or Commodities Exchange Act. Therefore, Italian whistleblowers can and should report relevant violations to U.S. officials under these laws.