Senator Chuck Grassley expects President Obama will soon sign a bill that will update policies that encourage so-called “whistleblowers” in the federal government.
“This bill strengthens the Whistleblower Protection Act to better protect federal employees who come forward to disclose government waste, government fraud, abuse of taxpayers’ money and all sorts of other wrongdoings,” Grassley says.
Grassley was the co-author of the original 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act, but Grassley says court decisions and a “general anti-whistleblower sentiment” in federal agencies called for an update.
“The public interest is served by whistleblowers inside the federal government who have the courage to stand up and speak out about wrong-doing, mismanagement and waste,” Grassley says.
Grassley worked with a bipartisan group of senators this year to draft the update, which adds employees of the Transportation Safety Administration to the list of those who can come forward as a whistleblower, with the expectation they’ll be protected by the law.
“The update is an important step forward,” Grassley says. “Additional improvements are still needed to make sure the intelligence community whistleblowers get the protection that they deserve for uncovering fraud deep within the bureaucracy.”
In October President Obama issued a “policy directive” that placed national security and intelligence employees under whistleblower protections. Grassley says whistleblowers “bring accountability” to government.
“One of the first whistleblowers I ever worked with in the federal government — and he was an employee of the Defense Department — said whistleblowers were guilty of only one thing: committing truth,” Grassley says. “We need that truth in Washington, D.C. now more than ever before.”
If President Obama signs the bill into law, federal employees who reveal that scientific or technical information has been censored by a government agency can receive “whistleblower” protection which would prevent retaliation from their managers. The bill also creates new “Whistleblower Protection Ombudsmen” who will educate federal agency managers about whistleblower rights.