Lawmakers Honor Whistleblowers on National Whistleblower Day
A bipartisan group of lawmakers came together Tuesday to honor whistleblowers. At a ceremony hosted by the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) to commemorate the 241st anniversary of America’s first whistleblower protection, lawmakers discussed the rich history of whistleblower protection and its importance in a modern context.
The event was attended by dozens of prominent whistleblowers and individuals in the whistleblower community. Among the lawmakers included in the event either as a speaker or through a video address were Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) delivered the keynote address.
Members of the Inspector General community also attended. During the event, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) revealed a newly launched beta test on their website which would allow federal employees and contractors to either report infractions or learn more about how to pursue a whistleblower disclosure.
The new whistleblower portal is available through oversight.gov.
Through video remarks, Rep. Cummings celebrated existing whistleblower protections but also called upon Congress to do more. Cummings announced his intention to introduce legislation this Congress to further strengthen whistleblower protections and improve enforcement mechanisms in current law.
In an op-ed published Tuesday morning, Senator Grassley also noted the importance of whistleblower protection which we reaffirmed at the NWC event.
“Even at the founding of this nation, the importance of whistleblowers was clear. Since then, oversight has remained one of the most important responsibilities of the legislative branch. The Constitution requires it. The public also has a right to know what their government is doing and how it’s spending their tax dollars,” Grassley explained. “Without oversight, members of Congress can’t legislate in the best interests of their constituents or ensure the government is accountable to taxpayers. Whistleblowers play a critical part in Congress’s oversight efforts. They courageously raise their hands and disclose waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and all sorts of misconduct.
Senator Grassley has led efforts to make July 30 the official National Whistleblower Appreciation Day through legislation.
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