Friday, December 7, 2012

New whistleblower protection in the United States

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act was passed into legislation by President Obama in November 2012 , Approved unanimously by Congress, this act updates and strengthens the earlier act designed to protect public sector whistleblowers . For the Washington Posts report on it click here.

 The new act has been thirteen years in the making, strongly lobbied by a number of whistleblower support Groups including the Government Accountability Project GAP,

The new legislation protects  Federal employees  (in addition to existing protections ) from reprisal if they: are not the first person to disclose misconduct; disclose misconduct to co-workers or supervisors; disclose the consequences of a policy decision; or blow the whistle while carrying out their job duties.

 GAP Legal Director Tom Devine states

"This reform took 13 years to pass because it can make so much difference against fraud, waste and abuse. Government managers at all levels made pleas and repeatedly blocked the bill through procedural sabotage. But once there were no more secret 'holds,' the WPEA passed unanimously, because no politician in a free society can openly oppose freedom of speech. Over the years, earlier versions of this law had been called the Taxpayer Protection Act. Nothing could set a better context for fiscal cliff negotiations than a unanimous, bipartisan consensus to protect those who risk their careers to protect the taxpayers. This victory reflects a consensus ranging from President Obama to Representative Darrell Issa. The mandate for this law is that the truth is the public's business."


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