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Recent highlights of Legislation Program Area:
- After a 13-year campaign, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (WPEA) was finally signed into law on November 27, 2012. The legislation provides millions of federal workers with the rights they need to safely report government corruption and wrongdoing. The bill reflects an unequivocal bipartisan consensus, having received the vote of every member in the 112th Congress, passing both the Senate and House of Representatives by unanimous consent this fall. Among other key reforms, federal employees are now protected (in addition to already-existing scenarios) from reprisal if they: are not the first person to disclose misconduct; disclose misconduct to coworkers or supervisors; disclose the consequences of a policy decision; or blow the whistle while carrying out their job duties.
- In October 2012, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) to create free speech rights for national security whistleblowers. The action largely restores many of the rights and remedies that the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence removed from the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) in November -- an action performed to allow a vote approving the remaining reforms. In 2011, the White House promised to consider action on federal whistleblower rights where Congress failed. GAP pressured the administration to fulfill its promise, after the House removed national security protections from the WPEA. This policy directive represents a significant breakthrough, but it is no substitute for Congress to legislate permanent rights for national security whistleblowers, with third-party enforcement the same as for other employees.
- After a decade-long effort waged by GAP, best practice whistleblower protections were secured for nearly 12 million federal contractors – this is 6 times the number of employees as covered in the recently passed Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012.