I agreeto Idea New Directives to Protect Whisleblowers from Punishment
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New Directives to Protect Whisleblowers from Punishment

Why Is This Idea Important?: Whistleblowers play a vital role in ensuring we have a functioning, effective, and accountable government. When governmental checks and balances fail to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse, the responsibility to call notice to a problem and hopefully bring about a resolution often falls to employees. Unfortunately, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, which was enacted to protect federal employees against reprisals for the exposure of government inadequacies, has been rendered largely toothless by judicial decisions. Additionally, there have been recent administrative policies that seek to control and/or limit the speech of scientists, researchers, and policy personnel that might give voice to facts and opinions that differ from the current political agenda. While new legislation is needed to permanently establish increased protections and new whistleblower rights, such as a right to jury trials, much can still be done administratively. Much of the mismanagement, unfair treatment, and limited enforcement of the protections could be rectified with new demands by the president that whistleblower protection be made a priority.

Directives and legislation providing protection for whistleblowers who disclose waste, fraud, or abuse within an agency, and punitive processes for managers who retaliate against those whistleblowers in their performance reviews should be established. irectives should clarify to all agencies, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the expectation that whistleblowers be robustly defended from reprisals and that whistleblower claims be dealt with quickly and fairly.

The president should establish a culture that supports whistleblowers by rewarding disclosure and punishing retaliation in performance appraisals. The president must also work with Congress to enact comprehensive federal whistleblower reform that extends meaningful protections to law enforcement and intelligence agency whistleblowers.

- From the 21st Century RTK Agenda

Submitted by 21stCenturyRTK 4 years ago

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Comments (4)

  1. whistle-blowers have been, historically, some of the best sources of information on wrongdoing in government (and, for that matter, in the private sector). We've relied on whistleblowers since the false claims act and need to protect these brave public servants who risk their careers to inform us of what's going wrong.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  2. I truly wish it that it would be that easy.

    If "whistleblower protection" were as simple as passing a new law or issuing a new directive, it would have happened a long time ago.

    It is not easy to prove that a manager is retaliating against a whistleblower. How do can you prove that the promotion really should have gone to Bill, instead of Dave? Unless it's really blatant (which is very rare), there's no way to figure out if it's reprisal or performance-related.

    And if you can't prove retaliation, then you can't "punish retaliation". Please show me the language in such a directive that will solve that all-too-common dilemma. Otherwise, all this idea is just wishful rhetoric.

    The only real way to prevent retaliation is to shield the identity of the whistleblower.

    And an online system is the best way to do that. It's what Fortune 500 companies now use to comply with the federal law (ironically) following the WorldCom and Enron scandals. See my idea:

    Make It Safe for Govt. Workers to Innovate to Save Money

    http://opengov.ideascale.com/akira/dtd/2481-4049

    vr,

    Stephen Buckley

    http://www.UStransparency.com

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  3. Protect the whistleblowers on this site from having their posts scrubbed. There would be a different order of top posts if free exchange of ideas weren't trashed on this site and by this administration!

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  4. Now here's a whistleblower idea I can get behind. No 18-page name spam.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed