For Immediate Release
Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project
202.457.0034, x. 124
Michael German, American Civil Liberties Union
Charity Wilson, American Federation of Government Employees
Colleen M. Kelley, National President, National Treasury Employees Union
Angela Canterbury, Project On Government Oversight
Celia Wexler, Union of Concerned Scientists
400+ Groups Urge Congress & President: Finish Whistleblower Law
taxpayer, environmental, science, consumer, faith-based, civil rights and
transparency groups spanning the ideological spectrum today called on Congress
and President Obama to work to enact a strong federal whistleblower protection
law as soon as possible. Enactment of a strong whistleblower protection reform
law will restore credible free speech rights for federal workers who challenge
government illegality, fraud, waste or abuse.
In a letter publicized by the Make It Safe Coalition (http://www.
404 groups endorsed the following appeal to America’s
Whistleblower protection is a
foundation for any change in which the public can believe. It does not matter
whether the issue is economic recovery, prescription drug safety, environmental
protection, infrastructure spending, national health insurance, or foreign
policy. We need conscientious public servants willing and able to call
attention to waste, fraud and abuse on behalf of the taxpayers. Unfortunately,
every month that passes has very tangible consequences for federal government
whistleblowers, because none have viable rights.
In 1994, Congress unanimously passed and strengthened the
Whistleblower Protection Act, but the free speech mandate on paper consistently
failed in practice because it was not backed by normal due process rights. In
their letter, the groups called for a law with teeth, starting with normal
access to court for all employees paid by the taxpayers to enforce their rights
– as Congress has done in ten laws for corporate whistleblowers since 2002. The letter also calls for meaningful rights for
national security employees. Currently, the Whistleblower Protection
Enhancement Act, which would address several of these issues, is pending
passage in both the Senate (S. 372)
and the House (H.R. 1507)
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
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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.