House Committee Unanimously Approves Whistleblower Protections

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The Government Accountability Project has been working seven years for the reforms to overhaul the law protecting federal government whistleblowers approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee February 14.  The bill would extend anti-retaliation rights to those who call attention to the politicization of science by Administration officials.

Climate Science Watch is a program of the Government Accountability Project.

New York Times
February 16, 2007
Editorial

Protecting Those Who Speak Out

The plight of federal workers who raise alarms about waste and fraud in government has become a scandal unto itself. That candid air marshal suddenly assigned to desk duty after complaining of shoddy agency practices has plenty of company, including workers who have lost security clearances or found their jobs suddenly relocated far from home. But in a vote this week of bipartisan unanimity, the House government reform committee offered whistle-blowers fresh hope with a much needed measure to protect them against official retaliation.

Existing law gives too much of an edge to oversight boards that are inclined to dismiss or belittle the charges of whistle-blowers….

From the Government Accountability Project news release:
February 14, 2007

House Committee Unanimously Approves Whistleblower Protections

(Washington, D.C.)  By a unanimous 28-0 vote today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved landmark legislation to overhaul the law protecting federal government whistleblowers. Lead sponsors for H.R. 985, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007, include Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Member Tom Davis (R-VA), and Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA).

“Today the Government Reform Committee lived up to its name. Now the spotlight is on House leadership to do the same, by scheduling a floor vote without delay,” commented Government Accountability Project (GAP) Legal Director Tom Devine. “GAP has been working seven years for the reform’s enactment. Devine added, If this legislation becomes law, it will create a gold standard for public employee free speech rights, and a breakthrough for government accountability.”

GAP is a founding member of the Make it Safe Coalition, a non-partisan network of organizations whose members pursue a wide variety of missions that span defense, homeland security, medical care, natural disasters, scientific freedom, consumer hazards, and corruption in government contracting and procurement. These groups are united in the cause of protecting those in government who honor their duties to serve and warn the public.

The Oversight Committees legislation meets nearly every requirement for reform endorsed by the Make it Safe Coalition….

 

 

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