By DANA LIEBELSON
A Senate Committee proved its commitment to holding government accountable today by voting once again to advance the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA).
This bill, for which POGO recently reiterated its support in a letter to Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), has the potential to save billions of taxpayer dollars by protecting legitimate whistleblowers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse. Now that the bill has passed unanimously through the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, it will advance to a full Senate vote.
Angela Canterbury, POGO’s director of public policy, said in a press release, “Government workers who expose waste, fraud and abuse should not have to fear being fired or demoted for doing the right thing. A stronger whistleblower law is long overdue. After years of negotiations and near-misses, this bill finally enjoys a bipartisan unity that has been scarce in Washington.”
If passed, the WPEA would provide intelligence community workers safe, legal channels for disclosures of wrongdoing and provide whistleblowers with more normal access to the courts, including for the first time, access to a jury trial. It would also remove an important loophole that excludes anti-retaliation protection for some whistleblowers.
Canterbury urged Congress to “waste no time in sending this better-government bill to the President’s desk before the end of the year.”
Dana Liebelson is POGO’s Beth Daley Impact Fellow.