The whistleblower protection community has reached the end game for passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, a package of badly needed reforms that would restore meaningful whistleblower rights to federal government employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, or abuse in the federal government. The legislation also creates specific protection for scientific freedom, making it an abuse of authority to censor, obstruct dissemination, or misrepresent the results of federal research – a protection for which the need is clear. Support passage of the reforms by sending a message to Congress: don’t delay again on protection for those who risk their careers to defend the taxpayers. This is a repost from the Make it Safe Coalition, an alliance of good government groups, concerned citizens and whistleblowers committed to securing protections for workers who report waste, fraud and abuse in government programs. See their site for more information on the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and whistleblower reform.
There is at least one issue that has bipartisan support: this country must address our growing federal debt and cannot afford to tolerate waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. As the Senate prepares to meet this week, with this crisis looming, it must fulfill its commitments to taxpayers and enact strong legislation protecting federal whistleblowers in this lame duck session.
Protecting whistleblowers is a reform that has strong support across ideological lines. Federal employees, the foot soldiers in the war on waste, fraud and abuse, must get the protections they deserve. They must be able to fight back when they are fired, harassed and demoted in retaliation for their efforts to protect the public health and safety and taxpayer dollars.
Unfortunately, under current law the Merit Systems Protection Board rules against 99% of whistleblowers who file suit to defend themselves against retaliation. Fear of committing career suicide leads federal workers to become silent observers when they witness fraud, waste or abuse, or public safety threats such as the safety violations leading up to the BP oil rig disaster, and the West Virginia mining tragedy.
Congress can and must enact a whistleblower reform law that ensures that federal workers who expose waste, fraud and abuse and who are then punished for speaking the truth have the tools they need to fight that retaliation, and win. Congress must significantly strengthen these protections, but time is running short.
Tell President Obama and Congressional leadership that federal Whistleblower protection must be a priority for the lame duck. Call and write before it’s too late!
Message to President and Congress:
If you’re serious about reducing the debt and deficit by fighting waste, fraud and abuse, complete passage of a “best practices” Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act during the lame duck. Don’t delay again on protection for those who risk their careers to defend the taxpayers.
Administration: 202-456-1111; firstname.lastname@example.org
Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid: 202-224-3542; reid.senate.gov/contact/
Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell: 202-224-2541 http://mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-0100; http://www.speaker.gov/contact/
House Minority Leader John Boehner: 202-225-6205; *only accepts constituent emails
Petition: Pass Whistleblower Protection in the Lame Duck!