Read more »
On Tuesday, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) chaired a bipartisan hearing of a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee. The purpose of the hearing, "Whistleblower Protections for Government Contractors" was to build support for the Non-Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 241), legislation that seeks to expand and make permanent whistleblower protections for government contractor employees. These protections were initially passed in the 2009 stimulus law.
Senator Rob Portman (R-Oh), the former Office of Management and Budget chief, participated supportively. From GovExec:
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, noted that with "half a trillion dollars a year, or 15 percent of the budget," being spent on contractors, it is time to rethink the 19 current laws. "Whistleblowers are the eyes and ears of all of us, and are a vital communications link between daily program managers and those in Congress responsible for oversight," he said.
The House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee already has approved a two year pilot experiment in jury trial rights for contractor employees as part of HR 3289, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), but the McCaskill stimulus provisions are not included in S. 743 – the Senate version of the WPEA.
Read more »
Courtesy of Flickr user db Photography | Demi-BrookeHuffington Post: New HSUS Investigation Reveals Deception by Online Puppy Seller
Summary: According to a new investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), internet puppy seller Purebred Breeders sells animals from puppy mills (inhumane commercial breeding facilities) and uses deceptive sales tactics.
A whistleblower who contacted HSUS said that Purebred Breeders sells more than 20,000 puppies a year. This internet company has had complaints of sick and dying puppies arriving by air, some covered in feces and urine. The whistleblower also revealed that employees are instructed to talk “as if they know the puppies and the breeders personally.”
Whole Foods Runs Foul of Whistleblower Law?
Summary: Whole Foods violated federal whistleblower protections, according to an OSHA investigation, when it allegedly fired an employee for reporting concerns regarding a sewage spill into the chain's Miami Beach store. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign has the details.
Kalamazoo Gazette (MI): Judge to Hear Whistleblower Lawsuit of Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Worker
Summary: Next week a Michigan judge will hear the case of a former oil spill cleanup worker who says he was fired after revealing to the media, and state and federal agencies, that workers were told to cover up the oil instead of cleaning it up.
Read more »
60 Minutes Features Case of GAP Client
Courtesy of wikimedia user Jonathan McIntosh(Washington, DC) – Last Sunday night, the television news-magazine 60 Minutes featured a July 2011 interview of Eileen Foster, a former high-ranking official at Countrywide Financial Corp., the home loans behemoth, and then Bank of America (BofA) after its purchase of Countrywide in July 2008. Foster, now a GAP client, reported the corrupt activities of company officials, both pre- and post-purchase. In September 2008, BofA terminated Foster. Three months ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that BofA was wrong to terminate her, ordering her reinstatement and damages. However, BofA has appealed that order, and Foster's fight continues.
GAP Senior Counsel Richard Condit described the importance of the case: "Eileen Foster's case and those that will follow provide penetrating insight into how the home mortgage crisis arose and was readily accepted by corporate cultures that cared more about short-term gain than long-term disaster. Bank of America-Countrywide rejected the results of a two-year OSHA investigation. There is little indication the culture that created this crisis will ever change."
Click here to watch the 60 Minutes segment.
Read more »
60 Minutes: Prosecuting Wall Street
Photo Courtesy of Brian KattLast Sunday night, the television news-magazine 60 Minutes featured a July 2011 interview of Eileen Foster, a former high-ranking official at Countrywide Financial Corp., the home loans behemoth, and then Bank of America (BofA) after its purchase of Countrywide in July 2008.
Foster, now a GAP client, reported the corrupt activities of company officials, both pre- and post-purchase. In September 2008, BofA terminated Foster. Two months ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that BofA was wrong to terminate her, ordering her reinstatement and damages. However, BofA has appealed that order, and Foster’s fight continues.
Northwest News Network: Hanford Whistleblower Seeks Stronger Protection Laws In Senate Testimony
Yesterday, a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled "Whistleblower Protections for Government Contractors." The purpose of the hearing (which is available for viewing here) was to build support for the Non-Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act, introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) and Jim Webb (D-Va), which seeks to expand the scope of protected disclosures of wrongdoing made by America's growing federal contractor population. Senator McCaskill chaired the hearing.
Read more »
Courtesy of Flickr user New Media DaysAssociated Press: Assange Can Continue Extradition Fight
Summary: A British court decided yesterday that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange can continue with his legal battle against extradition to Sweden to face sex crime allegations. Assange’s appeal against extradition to a British High Court in July had been denied, however, he can now appeal to the British Supreme Court.
Related Articles: Washington Post, New York Times
RT: Manning Wants Obama and Clinton as Witnesses
Summary: On Friday, the attorney for Bradley Manning – the soldier accused of providing Wikileaks with classified documents – submitted a list of defense witnesses that included President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The witnesses are requested to appear at the first military hearing against Manning, set to begin December 16, which will determine whether the case should be referred to a full court martial.
Climate Science Watch: “Smog Rules”
Summary: The director of GAP's Climate Science Watch program, dedicated to holding politicians accountable for their use of climate change data, argues that President Obama has allowed science to be “set aside” in the debate on environmental protection.
Wall Street Journal: Decorated Marine Sues Contractor
Several months ago, US Marine Dakota Meyer made history, becoming the first living Marine to receive the distinguished Medal of Honor for actions performed in Iraq or Afghanistan. After leaving active duty in early 2010, Meyer eventually worked for defense contractor BAE Systems. After resigning in protest over that company's decision to sell sniper equipment to the Pakistani military, Meyer is now suing BAE for asserting to the federal government that he had drinking problems and mental issues.
Related Articles: NPR
NDTV: Names of Indians with Swiss Accounts to be Revealed Next Year: Assange
WikiLeaks Publisher Julian Assange has stated that the names of prominent Indians holding Swiss bank accounts may be released by the organization next year. This news comes as an Indian official is on trial for allegedly passing the information on to WikiLeaks.
Arizona Republic: A Decade after Enron, Reform Still a Hot Topic
Ten years after the fall of Enron precipitated the enactment of the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, this article quickly looks at some of the effects of that law's passage.
Releasing Meat & Poultry Plant Inspection Data Would Increase Public Safety
The National Research Council released a report last week touting the benefits of making inspection data collected at meat, poultry, and egg products' processing plants readily available online. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign explains how such transparency would detail the problems that whistleblowers have been trying to unveil all along.
Dylan Blaylock is Communications Director for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.
Read more »
في نهاية هذا التقرير تجد ترجمة له باللغة العربية
As the Egyptian people continue to protest and demand accountability and democratic rule by the thousands in the wake of the collapse of the corrupt Mubarak regime, we have received increased requests from friends throughout the Middle East to translate our reporting on our investigation into former Egyptian Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin into Arabic, so that far more people affected by or concerned about these issues can directly access our analyses. As explained in my previous posts, which are now all available in Arabic (here, here and here), despite having been named in allegations involving at least three suspicious privatization transactions that cost the Egyptian people thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars, Mohieldin continues to sit unquestioned in a senior position as a Managing Director at the World Bank -- even as multiple former officials associated with him in those transactions face similar charges and allegations of corruption, profiteering and abuse of public assets.
I will be reporting back soon on the latest phase of our investigative efforts into Moheldin's conduct as Egypt's Investment Minister, as well as the World Bank's failure to respond to our repeated requests for Bank President Robert Zoellick to review Mohieldin's current role as Managing Director in light of these serious allegations and finally agree to make his financial records public.