For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Tom Devine, Legal Director
202.457.0034, ext. 124

Shanna Devine, GAP Legislative Coor.
202.457.0034, ext. 132

Federal Whistleblower Rights Finishes as Highest-Rated Recommendation for Obama’s Open Government Initiative

Handily Beats Over 300 Other Recommendations from Public

WASHINGTON - Last week, the Obama administration ended the period for public comment
on its "Open Government Initiative," which sought independent ideas
from the public about methods the administration could employ to increase
overall government transparency, public participation, and public
collaboration. At the end of this unique program, a recommendation suggesting
the institution of strong whistleblower protections for federal employees blew
away the competition, receiving twice as many endorsements as any other idea
put forth by the public during the program - a total amount of 304
different ideas, divided among 16 categories.

"Federal employee whistleblower protections
simply dominated this program as the public's chief demand involving open
government - there's no other way to view these results,"
stated Tom Devine, Legal Director of
the Government Accountability Project (GAP). 

The program was part of an effort to implement
President Obama's Transparency Memorandum, which summoned "an
unprecedented level of openness in government." Click here to read about
the results in more detail:

This initiative is but another vehicle that has voiced
public demand for honest federal whistleblower protections - specifically
by endorsing H.R. 1507, the House Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of
2009, which extends full whistleblower coverage to the federal workforce,
including national security employees.


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Shanna Devine, GAP Legislative Campaign Coordinator,
commented further: "The jury is out - the public understands that
any transparency initiative is window dressing until federal employees are
empowered to disclose threats that betray the public trust through full court
access, enforced by a jury trial, in the event of retaliation."

The directive was comprised of three phases
(Brainstorm, Discuss, Draft) intended to build upon one another to produce a
collaborative set of open government policy recommendations. Each phase was
divided into three principles - Transparency, Participation,
Collaboration - which were then broken into subcategories to contribute

For more information about how the online process
worked, please contact GAP Legislative Campaign Coordinator Shanna Devine at 202.457.0034, ext. 132, or


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The Government Accountability Project (GAP) is a 30-year-old nonprofit public interest group that promotes government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, defending whistleblowers, and empowering citizen activists. We pursue this mission through our Nuclear Safety, International Reform, Corporate Accountability, Food & Drug Safety, and Federal Employee/National Security programs. GAP is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization.

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