Agencies Still Falling Short of Federal Whistleblower Protection Standards
While there are more laws in place than ever before regarding the fair treatment and protection of whistleblowers in the United States, there are still some government agencies that are falling short of complying with the rules outlined in the 2012 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. The most common compliance issues still at issue include the posting of information in regard to internal ombudsman programs.
This information was revealed in a study performed by a nonprofit organization dedicated to whistleblower advocacy, the Project on Government Oversight. The study involved a survey of 72 different websites for inspectors general (IGs) and revealed that many of these sites had only minute amounts of information (if any at all) regarding whistleblower programs.
There were certain departments that had excellent compliance with the stipulation, including the departments of Justice, Labor and Agriculture. These websites had plenty of information outlining the role of an ombudsman in the department and how that person can be accessed in whistleblower cases, including the name and contact information for the person holding that position. Other departments even went above and beyond the requirements of the law, with some agencies that were not required to advertise the presence and information of their ombudsmen doing so anyway.
The Project on Government Oversight praised these organizations for meeting regulations, while chastising those that have yet to comply with the regulations that have been in place since 2012. According to analysts, many of these agencies are prime opportunities for fraud and other white collar crimes, which makes it extremely important for them to follow all of the regulations clearly outlined in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.
For more information about this legislation and questions about compliance, speak with a Dallas whistleblower attorney from Whistleblower Law for Managers.