WASHINGTON – In recognition of the crucial role played by whistleblowers in shining a light on fraud, waste and abuse in the federal government, the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus introduced a bipartisan resolution designating July 30, 2017, as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The resolution, sponsored by caucus members and colleagues, aims to encourage federal agencies to acknowledge employees who call attention to fraud, waste and abuse and to remind employees of their legal rights as whistleblowers.
“The identification of waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government frequently comes from courageous whistleblowers. Unfortunately, all too often, these individuals are penalized by their superiors for doing the right thing,” Sen. Ernst said. “Ensuring our whistleblowers are protected when they expose wrongdoing is critical to holding our government accountable and safeguarding taxpayer dollars. Let’s acknowledge and commemorate the important contributions these individuals make in pursuit of a better, more efficient, federal government for the people.”
“Whistleblowers are patriotic Americans who bring accountability to government, rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. Their brave work, too often penalized by embarrassed superiors, saves taxpayers billions of dollars and shines a light on wrongdoing. More than two centuries ago our nation’s founders recognized that we needed truth-tellers in government. That is no less true today. Our resolution reaffirms this idea and celebrates whistleblowers for their contributions to transparent and accountable government,” Sen. Grassley said.
“As the leaders of the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, Sen. Grassley and I are working today and every day to stop retaliation against those who do what’s right when they see something wrong,” Sen. Wyden said. “Congress has a lot more work to do to give whistleblowers the protections they deserve, but for now, this resolution shows there is bipartisan support in the Senate for people who are willing to speak out against waste, fraud or abuse in government and the private sector.”
“Whistleblowers play an important role in promoting accountability throughout federal agencies. Unfortunately, whistleblowers often face retaliation from within their own agency. As Chairman of the Senate’s chief oversight committee, I’ve proposed legislation like the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act to protect whistleblowers and ensure bad actors are held accountable. I join with my colleagues in offering support to these brave federal employees whose actions often expose problems and, ultimately, make our government better,” Sen. Johnson said.
“Whistleblowers can help to shine a light on wrongdoing or misbehavior, which helps us root out waste, fraud and abuse across the federal government. These brave individuals help to uphold the integrity of the missions they serve and can spark positive change. As a member of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus, my colleagues and I will continue working together to ensure that individuals are free to speak truth to power without fear of retaliation,” Sen. Carper said.
“Whistleblowers help identify waste, fraud and abuse within the government. Recognizing the brave individuals shows how important these individuals and encourages others to expose wrongdoing. As a member of the Senate Whistleblower Caucus, I am working to ensure these men and women and protected against retaliation for speaking up,” Sen. Boozman said.
“Whistleblowers are our unsung heroes—the first line of defense in identifying and rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the government,” Sen. McCaskill said. “Since my days as Missouri’s state auditor, I’ve been committed to doing everything I can to protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars from going to waste, and I’m so thankful for all of the whistleblowers who’ve been pivotal partners in these efforts.”
“We should do more to embrace whistleblowers who want to improve the system. When whistleblowers are empowered to step forward and shine a light on misconduct, fraud, waste, and abuse, we are all better off,” said Sen. Baldwin. “I am proud to support this bipartisan resolution recognizing National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.”
“Whistleblowers play an irreplaceable role in serving the public interest by exposing waste, fraud and abuse. They often put their jobs, reputations, and even lives at risk to serve the greater good. We should continue to encourage their selfless acts, protect them against reprisal, and recognize them through this bipartisan resolution,” Sen. Markey said.
“Whistleblowers play an important role in government transparency and reducing fraud, waste, and abuse,” Sen. Tillis said. “Far too often, the brave individuals who fight for accountability are punished for the actions, and I am proud to support National Whistleblower Appreciation Day to honor those who make the choice to speak up against wrongdoing within the federal government.”
“Far too often, whistleblowers who shed light on misconduct or abuse face unjust retaliation from their employers,” said Sen. Peters. “These patriotic citizens play a critical role in keeping government agencies honest, efficient and accountable to taxpayers. Instead of being punished, targeted or ostracized for their actions, whistleblowers should be honored for their commitment to truth and transparency.”
National Whistleblower Appreciation Day will fall on the 239th anniversary of the first whistleblower protection law, enacted on July 30, 1778. The Continental Congress adopted the original resolution, which stated that, “it is the duty of all persons in services of the United States … to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any persons in the services of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”
All members of the bipartisan Whistleblower Protection Caucus cosponsored the resolution. In addition to Senator Ernst, they include caucus chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and caucus vice-chairman, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), as well as Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.). Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also cosponsored the resolution.
Full text of the resolution can be found here.