This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Tuesday 5 September 2023, 4pm to 6pm
  • Location: In-person and online
    CL/A/026, Church Lane Building, Campus West, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking not required

Event details

The whistleblower experience

Based on his ‘lived experience’ as a whistleblower behind the Airbus Group/GPT case, Ian will describe how he discovered corruption within defence procurement contracts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As the newly appointed Programme Director for a £2 billion, 10-year contract to modernise the communications for the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANGCOM) Project, Ian will show how a series of ‘red flags’ led him to gather the evidence to report embedded systemic corruption in a government to government procurement contract to the appropriate authorities. 

He will then describe the effect on his professional and personal life, and his 13-year fight to persuade the Serious Fraud Office and the UK Attorney General to bring prosecutions that resulted in a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) and convictions for corruption with fines and confiscations totalling over €3.6 billion. He will conclude by describing his research into the root causes of why people do NOT speak up (the subject of his PhD research) and relate it to his vision of the future for whistleblower protection in the UK.

A recording for this event can be viewed here.

About the speaker

Ian Foxley

Ian is a Veteran with 24 years’ service in the British Army where he commanded an arctic warfare troop, a parachute squadron, and a divisional communications regiment in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping mission and Implementation Force. He was a lecturer at the Army Command and Staff College and spent two years in counter-terrorism and a further two years on secondment to the Australian Army where he was the ’Pet Pom’ in the Australian Army Rugby Team.

On leaving the Services, he worked for 14 years in the telecommunications industry until 2010 where, as Programme Director in GPT, an Airbus subsidiary, in a £1.96 billion UK/Saudi government defence procurement contract, he uncovered corrupt payments to the Cayman Islands and blew the whistle to the Serious Fraud Office. The resulting prosecution impacted the whole of the Airbus Group, leading to a 3.6 billion Euro fine and the replacement of the whole Group Board.

He founded and chaired Whistleblowers UK as a Public Service Organisation offering therapeutic, legal and media support to whistleblowers (2012-2015) and Parrhesia Inc. (2021-present), a whistleblowing research think tank focused at providing policy makers with evidence for the reform of legislation on whistleblower protection. 

Ian received his PhD in Politics (2023) and an MA in Applied Human Rights (2018) at the University of York and a BSc (Hons) in Applied Science at the Royal Military College of Science (1981). 

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • No hearing loop