Maltese law technically permits 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?
In 2013, Malta implemented “The Protection of the Whistleblower Act” designed to protect whistleblowers in both the public and private sector. On paper, this law is fairly comprehensive, banning all retaliation against an employee who reports misconduct they reasonably believe is based on true information and whistleblowers are permitted to report to external authorities. However, there is no independent whistleblower authority, significant government employees are exempt from this law, there are no reward provisions for successful whistleblowers, and the penalties for retaliation are not particularly comprehensive. Moreover, the effectiveness of the law remains largely unknown and additionally, in several widely publicized whistleblower cases, the Maltese government has failed to protect or taken action against whistleblowers, including seeking their deportation.
Can Maltese whistleblowers receive rewards?
There is no law in Malta providing whistleblowers rewards, however, they may receive rewards through U.S. laws.
Recent updates and future legislative developments
Malta is required to implement the requirements of the EU Directive on Whistleblowing into its national law. However, it has not yet announced that it has begun this process.
Can/should Maltese whistleblowers report to U.S. officials?
No law in Malta currently prohibits Maltese 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, Belgian whistleblowers can and should report relevant violations to U.S. officials under these laws.