For Immediate Release
Dramatic Surge in Support for Whistleblower Rights
WASHINGTON - Today, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) announced that
seventy new organizations from across the United States have joined a
June petition calling on Congress to enact sweeping new whistleblower
rights for government employees. The groups are calling on Congress to
finish the job before adjourning for the upcoming elections. Both
chambers have approved legislation to revive the discredited
Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), but efforts to reconcile the
different versions have stalled.
Tom Devine, Legal Director of
GAP, which helps coordinate whistleblower rights advocacy for the 182
groups now supporting the legislation, explained, "Groups demanding
reform have increased by over 60% in a week of outreach since Labor
Day. Our goal is credible free speech rights enforceable through jury
trials for all employees paid by the taxpayers. Government employees
need the same free speech rights that Congress has passed three times
since 2006 for corporate workers in various sectors. This should not be
Until Congress acts, the current law will
remain a trap that rubber stamps almost any retaliation government
whistleblowers challenge. The administrative board where employees
receive a "day in court" only has conceded illegal retaliation against
government whistleblowers in two cases during the entire seven and a
half years of the Bush administration (the board has found against
whistleblowers 55 times). Ironically, this has made a so-called good
government law the best reason for those witnessing fraud, waste or
abuse to remain silent observers, instead of blowing the whistle.
expanding petition reflects longstanding voter support. When rights for
government employees were first passed in 1989, the law was nicknamed
the "Taxpayer Protection Act." After the 2006 elections, likely voters
identified stronger government whistleblower rights as their second
highest priority for Congress, only behind ending improper government
The expanding petition reflects support across
political and ideological lines, including representatives from
conservative national defense organizations, foreign policy experts,
labor unions and advocates, human rights and international development
organizations, professional and academic, civil rights, good
government, consumer protection, and environmental organizations.
Representative new NGO signers include groups as diverse as the
American Conservative Defense Alliance; the American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Employees; the American Friends Service
Committee; Association of American Publishers; American Association of
University Professors; Better Government Association; Blacks in
Government; Center for Food Safety; Center for International Policy;
Chemical Weapons Working Group; Kentucky Environmental Forum; Kentucky
Resources Council; Alaska Forum of Environmental Responsibility; and
the National Committee for an Effective Congress.
The coalition of supporting organizations will intensify efforts to recruit support for the reform until Congress acts.
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The Government Accountability Project is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP's mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.