Federal Agency Officials Recognize Importance of Whistleblowers
Four U.S. federal agencies recently celebrated National Whistleblower Day, marking the first time that any had officially recognized the event — even though Congress has passed resolutions proclaiming it in each of the past four years.
Several high-profile officials spoke at the August 1 event, including Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, FBI Director James Comey, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director David Michaels and Office of Special Counsel Director Carolyn Lerner. In their remarks, they focused on issues and challenges today’s whistleblowers must face, along with what still needs to be done to ensure these individuals continue to receive the protections they need and deserve.
In fact, Lerner went as far as to proclaim whistleblowers as heroes who deserve to be recognized for all that they do to expose wrongdoing.
Pending legislation on FBI reforms
In the Senate, lawmakers are considering a bill that would reform the FBI’s whistleblower protection program, which critics say is dysfunctional and ineffective. The proposed legislation would reform the program, making it easier and safer for FBI employees to file whistleblower complaints when they see illegal or unethical activities occurring within the agency.
For advocates of open and accountable government, this event and the progress made in recent years related to protecting whistleblowers are incredibly positive developments. However, there is much work to be done, as many whistleblowers continue to face retaliation and other significant challenges that may keep them from speaking up.
If you know of wrongdoing within your business, organization or government agency and would like to learn more about your legal options and protections, consult an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.