Passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act must be a priority for the lame duck session of Congress.
We are facing a looming crisis because we have not heeded the warnings from our federal whistleblowers. Right now we need to enact strong enact strong legislation to protect federal whistleblowers. Protecting whistleblowers is a reform that has strong bilateral support across ideological lines. Federal employees, the foot soldiers in the war on waste, fraud and abuse, need to get the protections they deserve. They must be able to fight back when they are fired, harassed or demoted in retaliation for their efforts to protect the public health and safety and taxpayer dollars.
Our leadership must address the growing problem of federal debt and mortgage foreclosures and rising levels of waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. Our Merit Systems Protection Board does not adequately protect our federal whistleblowers from retaliation. Fear of committing career suicide leads federal workers to become silent observers when they witness fraud, waste or abuse. We must enact whistleblower protection legislation that ensures that federal whistleblowers who are punished for speaking the truth have the tools they need to fight retaliation, and win.
If we wish to have effective government and control over governmental fraud, abuse and waste, Congress must enact a whistleblower reform law. Whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act save taxpayers nearly one billion dollars. Employee disclosures are responsible for detection of more fraud than auditors, internal compliance officers and law enforcement combined.
There is no reason for inaction on noncontroversial, bipartisan whistleblower protection legislation. Congress must show that they are serious about responding to American voters, reducing the debt, and ensuring the integrity of government, and make “best-practices” whistleblower reform a reality this year.
For further information about these bills:
S. 372:Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009
A bill to amend chapter 23 of title 5, United States Code, to clarify the disclosures of information protected from prohibited personnel practices, require a statement in nondisclosure policies, forms, and agreements that such policies, forms, and agreements conform with certain disclosure protections, provide certain authority for the Special Counsel, and for other purposes.
H.R. 1507:Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009
To amend chapter 23 of title 5, United States Code, relating to disclosures of information protected from prohibited personnel practices, and for other purposes.
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