Sherron Watkins – the former Enron executive who blew the whistle on fraud at the company – believes that the SEC will continue to be ineffective in investigating whistleblower complaints, even with its new Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions. The SEC is still working out rules for these expanded provisions, yet corporate lobbyists are fighting to require whistleblowers to first file complaints with their own companies before going to the SEC.
Watkins (who first raised concerns internally at Enron) says that if she were to blow the whistle today, she would go to an organization like WikiLeaks rather than to the SEC.
Related Article: Center for Public Integrity
60 Minutes: Interview with Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange discusses the future of his website and forthcoming publications, as well as the “prospects of facing criminal charges in the United States.”
Assange commented on the current lack of protections for whistleblowers, stating, “If [employees] who say that there is some abuse going on and there's not a proper mechanism for internal accountability and external accountability, they must have a conduit to get that out to the public. And we are the conduit.”
To join in supporting meaningful protections for whistleblowers and the establishment of such proper internal mechanisms, help GAP and On The Media identify the Senator who placed a secret hold on the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.
San Francisco Examiner: Whistleblowers Who Report Tax Cheats in San Francisco See Big Payday
A member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has decided to extend a program that rewards whistleblowers for reporting tax underpayments by property owners. The program, called “real estate watchdog,” allows whistleblowers to earn up to ten percent of what the city recoups.
Washington Post: New Dietary Guidelines: Eat Less, Eat Better and Lose the Salt
The Departments of Agriculture, and Health & Human Services, have released new federal dietary guidelines – updated only once every five years – which emphasize eating more nutrient-dense foods and reducing sodium intake. The recommendations were immediately criticized by industry groups, including the Salt Institute, which argued the proposal would worsen "the obesity epidemic by driving people to eat more overall to satisfy their desire for salt."
Bellingham Herald: Whistleblower Case Sent to Benton Court
A whistleblower case involving the Hanford Vitrification Plant – a mutli-billion dollar treatment facility for "glassifying" radioactive waste – has been sent from federal court back to a Washington state court. The lawsuit alleges that a Hanford employee was removed from a project after raising “safety and technical concerns.”
Click here to read more about the GAP spin-off organization Hanford Challenge, a Seattle-based watchdog organization closely monitoring the vitrification plant.
Lindsay Bigda is Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower advocacy organization.