Whistleblower Laws Expanded: Retroactive Protection and Defense Subcontractor Coverage
Government whistleblowers received two good pieces of news out of Washington recently.
First, the U.S. Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB) ruled in the case Day v. Department of Homeland Security that resulted in expanding the application of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (pdf) (WPEA). The decision retroactively granted anti-retaliation protection to whistleblowers whose cases were pending before the WPEA was adopted in November 2012.
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO), which supported the passage of the WPEA, praised the board’s ruling, saying it “repairs the rights of whistleblowers who have been waiting for a fair shot at justice,” according to Angela Canterbury, POGO’s director of public policy.
“Finally, after more than a decade of work, brave public servants who have come forward when they witnessed wrongdoing will have the protections and remedies Congress intended,” Canterbury added. “Now I hope others who have stayed silent will be encouraged to come forward to hold the government accountable.”
More good news arrived on July 1, when a provision of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (pdf) went into effect and provided employees of defense subcontractors with new protections against reprisals from supervisors for reporting waste or fraud.
Previously, subcontractors could go to a boss and complain, but not to a government office, according to Marguerite Garrison, deputy inspector general for administrative investigations at the Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General. Now, whistleblowers may report their complaints to “to a court, grand jury, management official or other employee of the contractor or subcontractor,” without fear of reprisal.
To Learn More:
Retroactive Rights a Victory for Whistleblowers (by Michael Smallberg and Jana Persky, Project On Government Oversight)
Defense Whistleblower Protections Expand to Subcontractors (by Charles S. Clark, Government Executive)
Obama Anti-Whistleblower Program Requires Federal Employees to Report Suspicions of other Employees or Risk Punishment (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)
Whistleblowers not Protected in Intelligence Contractor Industry (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Obama Threat to Whistleblower Protections Triggers Alarm in Congress (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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