House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

V: THE NEW SUMMARY JUDGEMENT RULE: GOLIATH FINALLY WINS!
S. 372 contains a new provision that permits the Merit Systems Protection Board to dismiss whistleblower claims under a procedural rule known as “summary judgment.” See Section 118. This new rule permits the MSPB “judges” to summarily dismiss a whistleblower claim without ever conducting a hearing.
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The Senate Bill added a dangerous clause within the definition of “protected disclosure.” Under this new definition, federal employees who disclose any violation of law are protected, unless their disclosure was “a minor, inadvertent violation that occurs during the conscientious carrying out of the violator’s assigned duties.”
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Today the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform heard from whistleblowers, their advocates, and even an administration official about the need for convincing remedies for federal employee whistleblowers.   Committee Chair Edolphus Towns (D-NY) opened the hearing with an encouraging word about the prospects for Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), H.R. 1507. He indicated that he had positive signs from the Senate and the administration about getting improved whistleblower protections passed this year. It remains to be seen if these protections will provide full court access, including jury trials, and coverage for national security employees, as is already provided in Title VII cases, and is now proposed in the current text of H.R. 1507. Bunny Greenhouse spoke about how the current law failed to protect her.  She added, “I am well versed in how poorly it works when it comes to federal sector whistleblower protection.”  Here is a photo of Michael German (ACLU), Corinne Kohn (Friends of Whistleblowers), David Colapinto (National Whistleblowers Center), Angela Canterbury (Public Citizen) and Michael D. Kohn (National Whistleblowers Center).

House Committee attenders


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 My client Bunnatine "Bunny" Greenhouse has issued a letter to the American public asking them to support the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA). Her letter comes on the eve of her testimony tomorrow to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 10:00 am at Hearing Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

"I will be explaining how whistleblower protection is essential to deter contractor fraud and wasteful military spending," Bunny says.  The first time Bunny testified to members of Congress, she explained how Army brass pressured her to approve no-bid contracts for Halliburton, and how she objected.  After she testified, she was stripped of her position in the Army Corp of Engineers’ Senior Executive Service, as the Procurement Executive. Here is a photo of Bunny, with her lawyers, Michael D. Kohn and David Colapinto.

 Bunny Greenhouse with her lawyers, Michael D. Kohn and David Colapinto


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