The role of whistle-blowing disclosures in the enforcement of food regulation: empirical and theoretical perspectives

Richard Hyde, Ashley Savage

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Regulators need information to operate. To protect the public they need to know what regulated bodies are doing. Traditionally, this information has been obtained from inspections and public complaints. One way that information can be obtained which is under-explored is from whistle-blowers employed by regulated bodies. This project aims to fill the gap and explore the prevalence and use of whistleblowing disclosures in regulatory enforcement (focusing initially on food regulation). Responses to recent high profile breaches of food safety legislation (in particular the South Wales E Coli Outbreak) have suggested that more needs to be done to encourage employees to report regulatory violations by their employers, making this exploration timely. Drawing upon empirical data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, this piece seeks to map the use of whistleblowing disclosures within a complex regulatory landscape, involving both local authorities and national regulators. All food regulators were asked about disclosures received and the subsequent use of that information. Responses were analysed using a number of theoretical perspectives drawn from both whistleblowing and regulatory literature, and conclusions drawn about the steps necessary to ensure that whistleblowing works within a regulatory framework.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2012
EventNorthumbria Research Conference - Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne
Duration: 16 May 2012 → …

Conference

ConferenceNorthumbria Research Conference
Period16/05/12 → …

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