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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

Questions for 2016 Candidates for Federal Offices on Government Accountability, Public Disclosure, and the Right to Know

Staff, February 09, 2016

With an eye toward promoting government accountability and transparency in the 2016 elections, and the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) have put together a series of questions that both media outlets and participants in meetings with candidates need to ask in order to put candidates on the record and ensure the public understands where their soon-to-be elected leaders stand on critical issues such as government transparency and accountability.

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is delighted to have contributed to these efforts and, along with Project on Government Oversight (POGO), has identified some of the most critical questions on whistleblower protection to present to all candidates for public office. Time and again, whistleblowers have provided critical information that the public has needed to know, and demonstrated the importance of government transparency. We hope you will help us elevate these and other whistleblower-related questions to all candidates for public office, ensuring that whistleblowing remains at the forefront of the national debate. 

The following is from the Memo (which can be read in its entirety here):

“During this election season, as candidates are selected for party nominations and campaigning for federal offices, the following questions are important for understanding where candidates stand on pivotal policy issues relating to government openness and accountability. As a coalition of public interest organizations committed to promoting government openness and accountability, we urge your editorial board to circulate these questions and encourage journalists to present them to candidates on the campaign trail.”

Questions Regarding Whistleblowers: 

Do you support reforms to provide more protection for public and private sector whistleblowers? Specifically, what are your thoughts on:

  • Ensuring that intelligence community contractors who blow the whistle through designated channels receive the same whistleblower protections available to all other contractor employees?
  • Providing federal employees with whistleblower protections that are as strong as those for private sector employees, including access to a jury trial? 
  • Protecting both public and private sector employees against criminal or other civil liability when they engage in whistleblowing already protected by employment law?
  • Disciplinary action against managers who have engaged in whistleblower retaliation?

For Additional Resources on whistleblowing: Shanna Devine and Liz Hempowicz: Whistleblowers and the prosecution loophole

For additional information, please contact Anna Myers, Executive Director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP), at, Shanna Devine with GAP at, or Elizabeth Hempowitz with the Project On Government Oversight, at