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Tag Archives: Government Whistleblowers

Sen. Grassley Urges Senate to Pass IG Empowerment Act

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, Legislation
Yesterday, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) delivered a floor statement before the Senate in support of the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2015 (S. 579). Grassley is a co-sponsor of this bi-partisan bill that aims to expand the independence of Inspector General (IG) offices and reiterates that in order to conduct oversight the IG should have access to all agency records.… Continue Reading

House Passes Bill to Expand Protections for Federal Employees Against Discrimination

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
House Passes Bill to Expand Protections for Federal Employees Against DiscriminationYesterday, the House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 403-0, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to strengthen equal employment protections for federal workers. Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, as well as Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton, James F. Sensenbrenner, and Sheila Jackson Lee cosponsored the… Continue Reading

New Whistleblower Retaliation Allegations Raised Against Commerce IG

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
Whistleblower Advocacy Groups Call for Removal of Commerce IG ZinserThe Washington Post reports today that there is a new allegation of whistleblower retaliation against the Commerce  inspector general’s office. Commerce IG Todd Zinser has been under fire since the Office of Special Counsel in 2013 determined that two of Zinser’s trusted allies — his counsel Wade Green and longtime friend Rick Beitel, the principal assistant inspector general for whistleblower protection — retaliated… Continue Reading

Whistleblower Advocacy Groups Call for Removal of Commerce IG Zinser

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
Whistleblower Advocacy Groups Call for Removal of Commerce IG ZinserOn March 31, I posted a blog entitled “House Investigation Reveals Commerce IG’s Pattern of Retaliation Against Whistleblowers,” reporting the findings of a two-year investigation by the House Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight
Committee on Science, Space & Technology. The investigation found that Department of Commerce’s Inspector General Todd Zinser and his closest staff had “over a period of many years… Continue Reading

House Investigation Reveals Commerce IG’s Pattern of Retaliation Against Whistleblowers

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, News
JohnsonRepresentative Johnson calls for Commerce IG Todd Zinser to be removed from office The House Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight
Committee on Science, Space & Technology opened an investigation two years ago on Commerce Inspector General Todd Zinser and his management of his office.   On March 26, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ranking Member, delivered a floor statement that laid out… Continue Reading

VA Whistleblower Protection Legislation Unnecessary Says Agency

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, Legislation
VA WhistleblowersOn March 19, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a legislative hearing on H.R. 571, the Veterans Affairs Retaliation Prevention Act of 2015. H.R. 571 would provide Veterans’ Affairs (VA) employees who seek to report potential government waste, criminal behavior, or compromised healthcare services within the VA a set process to fix problems at the lowest level… Continue Reading

OSC Proposed Rule For Federal Contractor Employees May Cause Confusion

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Government Whistleblowers, National Security
OSC Withdraws Proposed Rule That Have Harmed Federal ContractorsWashington, D.C. January 22, 2015. Today the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) proposed a rule that it claims would extend protections under the Civil Service Reform Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act to employees of Federal contractors.  However, the unintended consequences of OSC’s proposed rule may cause more harm than good for employees of federal contractors. This rule may… Continue Reading

DOJ Releases Report on FBI Whistleblower Protections

Posted in News
Yesterday, Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden expressed optimism that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) whistleblowers may receive better protection under new guidelines outlined in a proposal to President Barack Obama.  The Department of Justice forwarded a copy of the Attorney General’s report titled “Department of Justice Report on Regulations Protecting FBI Whistleblowers.”  As I wrote in a previous post,… Continue Reading

House Panel Investigates Alleged Interference with Whistleblower’s Testimony

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, News
The Washington Examiner reports that Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., will investigate whether  a letter to the House Financial Services subcommittee constituted interference with congressional oversight or an attempt to intimidate future witnesses appearing before the panel. The letter that sparked the investigation came from John Dowd, a criminal defense lawyer representing Liza Strong, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s employment services chief and requested that a… Continue Reading

Senators Demand Answers on Surveillance of Whistleblower Communications with Congress

Posted in News
Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden issued the following press statement today in regard to the National Intelligence Agency’s plans to implement continuous monitoring of security clearance holders and it’s impact on whistleblowers who communicate with members of Congress: Grassley, Wyden Press for Answers on Continuous Monitoring of Whistleblower and Legislative Branch Communications             WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley and… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Issues Decision On Key Whistleblower Rights Case

Posted in News
Ruling Protecting Testimony Before Federal Grand Juries Will Have Widespread Impact On Fraud Investigations Washington, D.C. June 19, 2014. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark whistleblower decision in the case of Lane v. Franks.  The Court held that truthful testimony before a federal Grand Jury is “clearly” protected speech under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court in an unanimous… Continue Reading

Obama Administration Uses Privacy Act To Limit Congressional Oversight

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
The Washington Times reports today that  the Obama Administration is accused of using a broad interpretation of federal privacy statutes to block Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley from pursuing investigations such as “‘Fast and Furious’ gun-running scandal to the questioning of judicial nominees,” the article states. The article details how the Department of Justice invoked the Privacy Act to  bar the Senator  from… Continue Reading

Joint Senate/House Report Slams FDA Surveillance

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
Washington, D.C. February 26, 2014.  Today Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Senator Charles Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee issued a highly important Joint Staff Report carefully analyzing the FDA’s practice of monitoring email communications sent by whistleblowers. The Joint Staff Report harshly criticized FDA’s practices and vindicated the… Continue Reading

DOJ Ignores Key Whistleblower Provision

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
According to a Senator Charles Grassley, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is potentially in violation of the anti-gag provision of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA). Sen. Grassley brought this issue to the attention of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz in a February 10 letter. In 2012, Sen. Grassley authored a provision of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement… Continue Reading

MSPB Urged to Retroactively Apply WEPA

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
Today the National Whistleblower Center filed an Amicus Curiae brief with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), in the case of Day v. Department of Homeland Security. At issue is whether the new definition of a protected disclosure set forth in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act will apply to cases pending and/or which arose before that law was passed.… Continue Reading

Whistleblower Scores Victory Over Justice Department Privacy Violations

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
On January 15, 2013 U.S. District Court Judge Robert H. Cleland issued a key ruling in support of Justice Department whistleblower Richard G. Convertino in his longstanding Privacy Act lawsuit against the DOJ. The Court ordered the Detroit Free Press to produce all documents related to how the Justice Department smeared its former star prosecutor, Richard Convertino, after Convertino exposed serous flaws in the government's "war on terror."… Continue Reading

Federal Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act Becomes Law

Posted in Government Whistleblowers
President Barack Obama signed into law today the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA). Whistleblower attorneys working pro bono with the NWC played an instrumental role in passing this Act. NWC’s Executive Director Stephen Kohn testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee and David Colapinto testified before the House Government Oversight hearing in support of the bill. The bill contains important… Continue Reading

NWC joins in amicus to Federal Circuit on Conyers

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, National Security
Today the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) joined with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in an amicus brief filed by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). The brief urges the Federal Circuit to reverse the holding of its panel decision in Berry v. Conyers.  There, the Court held that the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) does not have jurisdiction over… Continue Reading