Ethical vigilance

W.E. McAllister

I WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR ARTIcle “Whistle-blower Woes” (October 2003). It conveys an undertone that whistle-blowers are a nuisance to be managed, and that they ought to expect (perhaps deserve) the worst, based on the fourth-grade notion that “the tattletale often suffers more than the guilty, party.”

Enron’s Sherron Watkins and her peers at other firms heroically helped reveal immorality, pathological greed, and egregious criminal behavior in Corporate America. At the same time, CFO magazine was presenting some of the perpetrators with awards for their innovative financial-management practices. If CFO is to be forgiven for this profound error, it ought to be honoring and encouraging ethical vigilance, rather than patronizing whistle-blowers.

And where is the unalloyed criticism of the latest example of federal-government duplicity; that is, hyping the fundamental reforms of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 while placing whistle-blower protection in the notoriously bureaucratic hands of OSHA?

W.E. McAllister

Via E-mail

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