New Media Rights joined the call for stronger whistleblower protection by supporting S. 372 over the last few months with our friends from the Government Accountability Project and numerous other public interest organizations. Last Friday, the Senate unanimously approved the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372), bringing us closer to achieving enhanced whistleblower protections than ever before. The House could vote on the bill as early as tomorrow. The letter included here encourages the House of Representatives to protect Whistleblowers and Taxpayers by passing this legislation.
As the debates surrounding the future of speech on the Internet continue, it is important to recognize the important role that whistleblowers play in exposing corruption, waste, and fraud in our governments and corporations.
To Help Pass Whistleblower Protections in the House of Representatives sign this petition.
An Open Letter to Members of the House of Representatives:
Ensure that the Bipartisan Reforms Long Supported by the House
Become Law This Year. Passing S. 372 Will Protect Both Whistleblowers and Taxpayers
For the past two Congresses, the House of Representatives has passed, with strong bipartisan support, reform legislation that protects federal employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse. This year, bipartisan support for these reforms advanced in the Senate, and late last week the Senate unanimously approved S. 372, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. This legislation, which reflects a true compromise between Senate and House versions of whistleblower reform, must become law this year.
In no time in our history is whistleblower reform more crucial: This country must address our growing federal debt and cannot afford to tolerate waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. With this crisis looming, we urge you to fulfill your commitments to taxpayers and pass S. 372.
Protecting whistleblowers is a reform that has strong support across ideological lines. The groups on this letter are united in this urgent request that federal employees, the foot soldiers in the war on waste, fraud and abuse, get the protections they deserve. They must be able to fight back when they are fired, harassed or demoted in retaliation for their efforts to protect the public health and safety and taxpayer dollars.
Unfortunately, under current law the Merit Systems Protection Board rules against 99% of whistleblowers who file suit to defend themselves against retaliation. Fear of committing career suicide leads federal workers to become silent observers when they witness fraud, waste or abuse. Congress can and must enact a whistleblower reform law that ensures that federal whistleblowers who are punished for speaking the truth have the tools they need to fight subsequent retaliation, and win. Congress must significantly strengthen these protections, but time is running short. Passage of the pending Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372) must be a priority for the House in the lame duck.
We know that whistleblowers save money. Each year, whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act save taxpayers nearly one billion dollars. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study of corporations globally found that employee disclosures were responsible for detection of more fraud than auditors, internal compliance officers , wand law enforcement combined.
While S. 372 does not include every reform that our community has sought, it will dramatically improve the status quo—for whistleblowers and taxpayers. Please do not delay in making this whistleblower protection legislation with strong bipartisan. support law. If you are serious about responding to American voters, reducing the debt, and ensuring the integrity of government, you will do all you can to make whistleblower reform a reality this year.
Affiliation of Christian Engineers
AFGE Council 238 (U.S. EPA AFGE Locals)
American Association of Law Libraries
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Government Employees
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Association of American Publishers
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now 8 (ACORN 8)
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO)
C-10 Research and Education Foundation
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest
CERES, the Center for Environmental Research and Education thru Synergy
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
Colorado Clean Water Advocates
Concerned Citizens of Petersburg
CROP PLUS (Concerned Residents of Portland, NY + People Like Us)
Custom Employees Against Discrimination Association (CEADA)
DC Employment Justice Center
Delaware Action Group
Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
Disaster Accountability Project
Energy Justice Network
Environmental Working Group
FAA Whistleblowers Alliance
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
Federation of American Scientists
Focus on Indiana
Food Not Bombs
Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Operations
Foundation for Global Community
Fund for Constitutional Government
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Global Warming Education Network
Government Accountability Project
Green Party of Pennsylvania
Greenwich Citizens Committee, Inc.
Health Integrity Project
Help Abolish Legal Tyranny (HALT)
Help For Sewage Victims
Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings
Implode-Explode Heavy Industry, Inc.
International Association of Whistleblowers
International Medical Council on Vaccinations
MPD PRODUCTIONS, INC.
National Coalition of Organized Women
National Family Farm Coalition
National Forum On Judicial Accountability
National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc.
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
National Taxpayers Union
National Treasury Employees Union
New Media Rights
New Mexico Environmental Law Center
New Orleans Women's Shelter
Nuclear Watch South
OAK - Organizations Associating for the Kind of Change America Really Needs
Oregon Wildlife Federation
PCP PRIDE (People Rising in Defense of Ecology)
POPULAR, Inc. - Power Over Poverty Under Laws of America Restored
Private Citizen, Inc.
Project On Government Oversight
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
Santa Monicans For Safe Drinking Water Coalition
Scientists for Indigenous People
Semmelweis Society International
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network
Tax Justice Network USA
Texas Campaign for the Environment
Texas Injured Workers
The Ecology Party of Florida
The Employment Law Group
The Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance
Union of Concerned Scientists
Voices for Corporate Responsibility