Summary: The American Civil Liberties Union has come out in support of State Department whistleblower and GAP client Peter Van Buren, telling the agency that firing Van Buren would violate his constitutional rights. Van Buren wrote a book, and has kept a blog, critical of the department’s reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
GAP’s Jesselyn Radack lauds this action and also criticizes the agency for sending “a chilling message to all other State Department employees who might witness waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, illegality or dangers to health and public safety that exposing such wrongdoing is just as dangerous to a career – if not more so – than committing it."
Summary: GAP Legal Director Tom Devine appeared on the Freedom of Speech program yesterday to talk about the recent Senate passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. The WPEA passed by unanimous consent earlier this month.
Summary: GAP’s counterpart in Canada, FAIR, is calling on the Alberta premier to keep her promise to introduce whistleblower legislation to protect those who would expose corruption or wrongdoing.
Key Quote: This week, the Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform (FAIR), an Ottawa-based charity that works to protect whistleblowers, wrote an open letter to the premier urging her to create strong laws to protect those who speak out about corruption or wrongdoing.
“The ultimate success of this initiative will lie mainly in your own hands, by setting the ‘tone from the top.’ Little will change unless your own actions as premier demonstrate that employees in Alberta are encouraged to report wrongdoing that threatens the public interest, and that your government will not tolerate any reprisals against them,” reads the letter.
In addition, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is no closer to enacting whistleblower protection legislation after the administration has been promising it for several years now.
Summary: GAP's Food Integrity Campaign discusses the implications of a new report on the increase of industry-funded agricultural research at land-grant universities. Companies have stripped researchers of future funding when study findings weren't in line with their interests.
Summary: A Russian teacher, who was in charge of a polling station at her school, claims she was pressured by an education department official to help rig the parliamentary election in favor of Vladamir Putin’s party. She is now on trial, charged with damaging that official’s reputation.
Summary: The Scottish Labour Department is calling for a whistleblower hotline for the National Health Service to allow employees to report wrongdoing. A recent report showed bullying was common and a major concern for many employees.
Summary: In light of a recent report that a prison guard in Los Lunas, New Mexico allegedly repeatedly raped an inmate, a former guard-turned-whistleblower has stepped forward, saying that the issue is widespread in the prison.
Summary: An Australian man who blew the whistle on the presence of sex offenders in a vintage train restoration club is fighting to regain his membership. The whistleblower claims he was banned after encouraging three younger members to report sexual abuse by an adult volunteer.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.