Summary: GAP has started a petition urging Congress to finally pass the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) before lawmakers adjourn to go campaigning. The WPEA would fix significant problems with current federal employee whistleblower protections.
Summary: PETA, the animal rights group, was restricted in its efforts to show an animal abuse film at the Kansas State Fair. The film, showing graphic scenes of animal slaughter, was originally meant to be screened at the PETA booth, facing the public. However, the state fair board told the group the film could only be displayed away from public, to be shown only to those who make “a conscious choice” to see it.
Key Quote: We might not all agree with PETA’s vegetarian/vegan ethic but it’s important that we support its monitoring of Big Ag. Because, as Amanda Hitt, director of the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign says: “The ability to tell the truth is a remedy for most ills.”
Summary: Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a study on how state agencies respond to worker complaints of retaliation for reporting safety or health violations, and many of the results were discouraging. Among the documented problems was the failure to even interview workers who made complaints, laws that discouraged employees from coming forward, and major organizational issues, among others. Notable states with major problems includes California, Nevada, New York, and South Carolina.
Summary: The House of Representatives voted yesterday to re-authorize the FISA Amendments Act, which allows for parts of the Bush warrantless wiretapping program to continue. GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack laments this development, calling it the “normalization of a domestic surveillance state.”
Related Article: Wired
Summary: The Waste Management Authority board in South Bayside, California unanimously passed a budget that would eliminate the job of a whistleblower employee, who alleged a top agency official was mishandling funds. A report released last month found there was no evidence of the official’s wrongdoing.
Summary: This week, a federal judge allowed J. William Leonard, the former classification czar under President George W. Bush, to talk publicly about three documents whose classification was in question for the trial of NSA whistleblower and GAP client Thomas Drake. The government had opposed the motion to lift Leonard’s “non-disclosure obligations.”
Summary: A former Florida hospital worker has accused the facility of overpaying its doctors by a sum of $5 million in 2010 alone, in order to incentivize them to refer patients. The whistleblower’s disclosure have sparked an investigation by the US Department of Justice and the state attorney’s office.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.