Rep. Maxine Waters issued an open letter to potential whistleblowers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) late last week. The California Democrat’s letter was addressed to agency employees who witness waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement. It asks that they “please do not hesitate to alert me and my staff” if they witness any such bureaucratic misconduct. Her action was in response to reports of low morale at the agency.
In a Monday Washington Post column about Waters’ letter, Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center, agreed — with a caveat: “Whistleblowers are protected by federal law . . . Given the problems with federal whistleblower protection, we recommend that any whistleblower approaching Congress ensure that they can maintain anonymity.” He’s also noted that system does not offer federal employees rewards, and access to federal court jury trials is limited. In addition, the WPA does not apply to intelligence and national security agencies.