Whistleblowing in Botswana's Construction Industry: A Public and Private Sector Perspective

The construction industry (CI) is considered one of the most corrupt both internationally and regionally. Therefore, this study examined the views and attitudes of professionals in Botswana’s CI towards the role whistleblowing (or protected disclosure) can play in curbing corruption in the sector. A convergent mixed methods approach was adopted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders from the construction industry. Furthermore, a self-administered survey was utilised to collect quantitative data from 117 construction firms. Data revealed that there was little awareness of whistleblowing legislation. Fear of retaliation or punishment and job loss, and a lack of education on whistleblowing were identified as some of the most substantial barriers to effective whistleblowing in the industry. From a public policy perspective, it is recommended that an emphasis be placed on improving levels of education and awareness on whistleblowing in the construction sector. In addition, there should be consideration to amend the Whistleblowing Act 2016 to include construction industry regulators, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board, and private media amongst the list of institutions authorised to receive reports of impropriety in order to extend the scope of legal protection to whistleblowers in the sector. Recommendations for further research are provided.