An anonymous whistleblower website was launched in March by the Austrian Ministry of Justice, allowing users to call attention to alleged cases of corruption without having to reveal their identity.
Three senior prosecutors will be in charge of pursuing new leads, says Ilse-Maria Vrabl-Sanda, head of the WKStA (Public Prosecutor’s Office against corruption). The virtual mailbox is considered an improvement to the traditional filing of anonymous reports, which doesn’t allow prosecutors to get in touch with whistleblowers for any follow-up questions.
Users can also identify themselves using a virtual key under existing principal witness regulations.
The tool was originally developed by Business Keeper AG and is already being used in two German states, through which 20 to 30% of current corruption cases have come to light. Prosecutors report that 30 to 40% of the whistleblowers chose to "out" themselves in the process.
The project will have a trial period of two years, the ministry said.