Released by the Project on Government Oversight:

Senators Re-Introduce Bill to Protect Whistleblowers and Save Taxpayer Dollars
April 6, 2011

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) strongly supports the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011 (S. 743), a bill re-introduced in the U.S. Senate today that will ensure legitimate disclosures of wrongdoing will be protected, increase accountability to the public and save billions of taxpayer dollars by helping expose waste, fraud and abuse. 

“Today, Sen. Daniel Akaka and his colleagues breathed new life into the bipartisan accountability bill, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act,” said Angela Canterbury, POGO’s director of Public Policy. “Quick passage of this bill would signal that Congress is serious about tackling waste and saving taxpayer dollars. Federal workers are on the front lines for witnessing waste, fraud and abuse. They need safe, legal channels for making legitimate disclosures and adequate protections for looking out for the rest of us.” 

S. 743 will expand rights of federal workers, specifically covering federal scientists and airport baggage screeners, strengthening failed procedures, closing loopholes, and, for the first time, providing whistleblowers limited access to the courts. National security and intelligence community workers would be given an administrative appeals process to prevent leaks and provide legal, safe channels for disclosures of wrongdoing.

Sen. Akaka (D-Hawaii) re-introduced the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act with co-sponsors Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont), Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Ben Cardin (D-Md).

After a several hearings and months of negotiations, versions of the whistleblower protection bill passed the Senate and the House unanimously last year, but due to a last-minute secret hold in the Senate, the 111th Congress adjourned before it became law.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.