We've got exciting news about potential passage of essential legislation that would give federal whistleblowers the rights they need. The big development: Our whistleblower champions in Congress are pushing to pass the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743) before they leave town!
Our coalition has learned that the House and Senate cosponsors of the bills have come to agreement, and will offer the strongest version of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) they think they can pass this week.
We must keep this momentum going. If you have already signed our petition, thank you for acting to support whistleblowers. If you have not – please, please sign the petition today! This is crunch time, and voicing your support takes less than a minute!
While Congress was on summer recess, over 160 organizations that represent more than 40 million taxpayers rallied behind federal whistleblower reform, along with numerous whistleblowers and prominent taxpayer and conservative organizations.
The window of time for passing this good government bill is extremely short. Members of Congress will only be here a few more days before they break until after the elections. We urgently need you to write your representatives today and tell them that they must pass critical whistleblower and taxpayer protections before they leave Washington.
This bill certainly does not have every reform we have sought, but does have critically important upgrades to the broken system for federal whistleblowing. We all know that government accountability should be better ... and this is a bipartisan bill that will help immensely.
Why must this bill pass? Under current law, a federal employee is not protected if s/he:
- • is not the first person who discloses given misconduct
- • blows the whistle while carrying out job duties
- • makes a disclosure to a supervisor
- • discloses the consequences of a policy decision, or
- • does not have "irrefragable proof" (defined as "undeniable, uncontestable, incontrovertible proof") of government misconduct.
These judicially-created loopholes by the sole court to which whistleblowers currently have access to explain why they have lost 226 of 229 cases since Congress last unanimously improved protections. The WPEA would, at a minimum, overturn these loopholes and begin the process of normal court access for appeals.
Federal workers who expose waste, corruption, and abuse are safeguarding taxpayer dollars and deserve protection from retaliation. These courageous workers need to know that we have their backs – since they have ours. It's not realistic to expect that they will defend us, if they cannot defend themselves.
Shanna Devine is Legislative Campaign Coordinator for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.