The German government’s contact office for whistleblower complaints has received an average of about 90 reports per month of suspected wrongdoing in public authorities and companies since it established the system for complaints last year.

Between July 2 and April 30 the office received 902 reports, a spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry said. However, there might be minor changes to the figures, the office noted, because in some cases the whistlebloser first preferred to speak with an adviser and did not yet want to file a report.

The Whistleblower Protection Act came into effect on July 2. It is intended to protect people who uncover wrongdoing from dismissal and harassment.

The law obliges authorities and companies to set up contact points to receive reports of fraud, corruption or breaches of animal welfare or environmental protection regulations.

The law was a belated implementation of a corresponding EU directive.

Under the law, authorities and companies with more than 50 employees must set up contact points to receive and process reports from whistleblowers confidentially.

Anyone who violates the law faces a fine of up to €50,000 ($54,000).

Employers with 250 or more employees had to implement the law’s requirements by its start on July 2. Companies with 50 to 249 employees had a grace period until mid-December.

In addition, an external reporting centre was established. The law allows whistleblowers to decide whether to report breaches internally or externally.

In its online form, the Federal Reporting Centre warns people not to file false accusations or they may face “consequences under criminal law.”

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