The Government Accountability Project. The National Federation of Federal Employees. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics. The Project of Government Oversight. Whistleblowers of America.
What does a list of entities like that – broad in itself, but supplemented additionally by more than 250 other organizations – signify?
Above all else, it denotes this: unanimity in numbers.
The close alignment of all those groups was on clear display earlier this month in a letter sent by a whopping 264 signatories to the country’s congressional leaders.
Its thrust was clear, namely this: an all-out effort to secure enhanced protections for federal whistleblowers, especially during the current health crisis. As noted in an in-depth piece authored by the publication Government Executive, the broad and diverse effort to spotlight needed whistleblower reforms seeks especially “to ensure that the government is fairly spending trillions of dollars in pandemic relief funding.”
That is a legitimate and even compelling concern, of course. With that amount of money at stake, the potential for fraud, waste and abuse is large. And the people most likely to spot wrongdoing and even egregiously illegal conduct are federal employees. Many of those individuals want to come forward to protect the public yet have justifiable fear in doing so.
Their concern is both real and obvious. The above-cited article stresses that current whistleblower safeguards are outdated and need some material readdressing. A recent poll underscores that nearly 90% of all Americans want to see shored-up protections for workers having the courage to report corporate wrongdoing that diverts resources and fleeces the nation’s taxpayers.
The need for amped-up safeguards is clear, given the personal risks often assumed by whistleblowers in the form of retaliatory reprisals.
Whistleblowing is an altruistic exercise that promotes the public interest in fundamental ways. Individuals who come forward to identify wrongdoing command strong legal rights, including an expectation that their work environment will be free from any punitive company/agency response.
A proven and results-oriented whistleblower-protection legal team can provide further information and, when necessary, diligent representation to any individual facing an adverse employment action.