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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

GAP Celebrates Sunshine Week

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Join GAP for Sunshine Week!

Sunshine Week is national initiative that celebrates the importance of access to information to promote open government and combat the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. This year, the values of transparency and accountable government have never been more important nor more threatened, as basic norms of disclosure, respect for the role of the press, and truthfulness are being systematically undermined in the current political climate.

In celebration of this year’s Sunshine Week, March 12-16, 2018, GAP is excited contribute to Sunshine Week by sharing our unique expertise about whistleblowing, one of the strongest demonstrations of the power of access to information to promote transparency, accountability and a responsive democracy to serve the public interest.

This week, GAP is highlighting the vital role whistleblowers—employees who choose to speak up rather than stay silent to raise the alarm about gross violations of public trust—play in exposing wrongdoing and advancing social, economic and environmental justice through the power of information.


GAP’s partnerships with journalists and public interest organizations celebrate whistleblowing as critical to transparency and accountable government.

The Whistleblower Project

GAP has partnered with the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and their Freedom of Information Committee to develop a multipronged online resource that highlights the essential relationship between whistleblowers and journalists in promoting an informed citizenry necessary in a functional democracy. The Whistleblower Project is dedicated to informing journalists on how they can safely work with whistleblowers, and makes a comprehensive case for why the workers who risk so much to report illegality, corruption, gross waste, abuses of authority and dangers to public health and safety, often in partnership with brave journalists, warrant praise and better protection.

Eclipse of the Sunshine: A Condemnation of Threats to Openness, Ethics and Accountability

GAP joins with leading public interest organizations, including the ACLU, American Oversight, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Open the Government, Project on Government Oversight, Public Citizen, Society of Professional Journalists, Sunlight Foundation, Union of Concerned Scientists, and many others, in signing a declaration celebrating the values of Sunshine Week and condemning the assault on transparency, access to information, and open, accountable government by the Trump administration and a hyper-partisan Congress. Read the Declaration to learn more about GAP’s and our public interest allies’ opposition to Attacks on Truth and Truth-Tellers, Affronts to the Public’s Right to Know, Increases in Government Corruption, and Threats to Constitutional Checks and Balances.

Our allies in this effort are sharing information and hosting events throughout the week. Check back regularly for updates. 



National Press Club Sunshine Week Panel to Examine How Public Information Officers Limit Media Access (Wednesday, March 14, 2018)

Hosted by the National Press Club's Press Freedom Committee

In honor of Sunshine Week, the National Press Club's Press Freedom Committee will host an evening panel discussion on March 14 to examine how the Trump administration uses public information officers to limit and shape reporters' access to government information.

A panel of journalists and experts will examine limits on access to public information under the Trump administration, how they vary agency-to-agency and compare to previous administrations.

Panelists include:

  • Henry Kerner, Special Counsel in the Office of Special Counsel
  • Julie Pace, Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief
  • Kimberly Leonard, Washington Examiner Healthcare Reporter/Co-chair of DC Chapter of Association of Healthcare Journalists
  • Kathryn Foxhall - Freelance Healthcare Journalist/Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee Member
  • Tom Devine - Government Accountability Project Legal Director

Moderating will be Rachel Oswald, Congressional Quarterly reporter/vice chair of NPC Freedom of the Press Committee.

Where: The National Press Club (529 14th St, NW, 13th Floor - Zenger Room)
When: 6:30-8:00 pm
RSVP (space is limited): 

Truth Be Told: Whistleblowers, Journalists & Democracy (Wednesday, March 14, 2018)

Presented by the Government Accountability Project & the Society of Professional Journalists

Join us for a panel discussion featuring:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs whistleblower Brandon Coleman 
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission whistleblower Larry Criscione
  • Washington Post journalist Joe Davidson
  • Foreign Policy reporter Jenna McLaughlin 

The event will be moderated by Dana Gold, attorney and GAP’s Director of Education, and Danielle McLean, SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee Chair and Investigative Reporter at ThinkProgress. 

Where: UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Room 518, 4340 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
When:  7:00-9:00 pm
RSVP (space is limited):  Watch the event live streamed here.


Working with Whistleblowers: A Sunshine Week Training for Public Interest Advocates (Thursday, March 15, 2018)

Co-sponsored by Public CitizenOpen The GovernmentProject On Government Oversight, and OpenGov Hub

Join legal experts Dana Gold and Tom Devine from the Government Accountability Project (GAP) for a training that will offer advocates key insights and practice tips on how to leverage information provided by whistleblowers while ensuring the employee truth-teller is not harmed in the course of advocacy.

Where: OpenGov Hub, 1110 Vermont Ave., NW, #500, Washington, DC 20005
When: 11:00 am-12 pm
RSVP (space is limited):

Free with lunch provided. Attendees will receive copies of GAP’s new resource, Working with Whistleblowers: A Guide for Public Interest Organizations.


GAP has developed three valuable resources about whistleblowing—one for journalists, another for public interest organizations, and one for federal workers in the science, environment and natural resource agencies.

Working with Whistleblowers: A Guide for Public Interest Organizations

Increasingly, non-profit advocacy organizations concerned about government abuses and malfeasance in a whole host of areas—government waste, ethics violations, environmental dangers, censorship, immigration policy, etc.—are recognizing that whistleblowers are essential sources of information. GAP’s new guide offers practical guidance on how public interest organizations can support employees who want to report concerns about misconduct while ensuring that neither the whistleblower nor the organization are made vulnerable inadvertently.

Download the Guide here.

Working with Whistleblowers: A Guide for Journalists

The power of whistleblowers to hold institutions and leaders accountable often depends on the critical work of journalists, who verify whistleblowers’ disclosures and then bring them to the public. This Guide, released in Fall 2017, offers information to help journalists navigate the complexities of working with whistleblowers, including best practices to protect sources and minimize reprisal while exposing abuses of public trust.

Download the Guide here.


Speaking Up for Science: A Guide to Whistleblowing for Federal Employees

GAP’s newest resource seeks to offer information to federal employees who work in the science, environment and natural resource agencies, which have been plagued by an actively anti-science political culture openly hostile to their public missions by issuing gag orders, censoring words and information on government websites, cutting science and technology budgets, and maintaining strong ties to the industries they are charged with regulating.

In addition to a new brochure, Make a Note to the Record: How Federal Scientists Can Protect Science for the Public Good, which GAP developed along with the Union of Concerned Scientists and other organizations to encourage federal employees to document abuses of scientific integrity, GAP’s new resource on whistleblowing for federal employees is intended to offer support for those employees unwilling to stay silent in the face of serious abuses of public trust.

Download the Guide here.