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HMRC whistleblower to receive top award

HMRC whistleblower, Osita Mba, is to be given an international award in recognition of his part in exposing a tax settlement between HM Revenue & Customs (HRMC) and Goldman Sachs.

Former HMRC solicitor Mba will pick up the 'Middlesex University UK Whistleblowing Award' and give a presentation about his experience on Wednesday 18 June during a ceremony at Middlesex University.

In 2011 Mba wrote to the National Audit Office and two parliamentary committees saying that Goldman Sachs had been "let off" from paying at least £10m in interest in a deal with HMRC head of tax, Dave Hartnett. Mba was, at the time, working in HMRC's Solicitor's Office in Whitehall.

Osita was selected to receive the award by a jury consisting of five members of the International Whistleblowing Research Network. The prize is awarded each year in recognition of outstanding achievement in making a disclosure of information in the public interest.

In 2013 the 'Middlesex University UK Whistleblowing Award' was given to Amanda Pollard, who was one of the key figures in exposing the inadequate inspection methods used by the Care Quality Commission.

Convener of the International Whistleblowing Research Network and Middlesex University Professor of Employment Law, David Lewis said: "Whistleblowers serve private and public interests when they raise concerns about wrongdoing. However, rather than encouraging them, many employers have victimised the purveyors of bad news. The Middlesex University award is an attempt to change attitudes so that whistleblowers are recognised as heroes rather than villains. Osita was very brave in speaking out in difficult circumstances and that is why we are gathering to applaud rather than shoot the messenger."

The event takes place at Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, NW4 4BT from 4pm on Wednesday 18 June.

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