House and Senate leaders are in "conference" right now debating whether or not employees in the Public Health Service (PHS) will obtain whistleblower protections. At stake is whether or not thousands of PHS employees who work at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be protected if they blow the whistle on waste, fraud or safety violations.
The National Whistleblowers Center is urging Congress to grant PHS employees the same protections against retaliation as their colleagues who work at HHS and the FDA.
The House-Senate Conference debating the FDA Reform Act (S.3187 / H.R. 5651) will decide the fate of PHS whistleblowers within hours.
Currently there is a loophole in federal law that allows government bureaucrats to fire PHS employee who blow the whistle. There is no protection for PHS whistleblowers who report the waste of taxpayer money or "bad science" being used to justify major public health decisions.
This weekend whistleblower advocates, with strong support among many Members of Congress, proposed a legislative fix for this unjustifiable and dangerous loophole. The fix would simply provide PHS employees with the same protection that all other workers at HHS/FDA have. It gives them the right to lawfully blow the whistle, have an independent investigation conducted by the Office of Special Counsel into any retaliation, and a hearing on the merits of their case. Simple due process.
Take action and tell us your thoughts on this glaring loophole in the comments.