“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 controversial.’
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.”