I am happy to say that we have received another significant endorsement for federal employee whistleblower protections. The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association has issued a statement in support of the Whistleblower provisions passed by the House of Representatives in the Economic Stimulus package last week, and is urging the Senate to pass the bill

 As you know, Congress is about to vote on a bailout bill for the financial
 sector. Whether you support this bill or not, we ask that you immediately  call your Senators and demand that strong whistleblower protections be  included in the bill because if we had meaningful whistleblower protection  we probably wouldn’t be in the

In an unprecedented show of solidarity and hunger for reform, public interest groups from across the political spectrum are urging Congress to pass whistleblower reforms this term. With the Congressional session winding down, and Congress readying a bill to provide massive corporations with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, getting the whistleblower legislation passed has never been more urgent.

The following press release was issued yesterday by a coalition of good government groups including the National Whistleblowers Center and the Government Accountability Project. It includes links to three sign-on letters, representing over 200 organizations and millions of Americans, to Congressional leaders detailing the urgent need for whistleblower protections.

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In March 2007 the House of Representatives passed HR.985, strong legislation to protect federal employee whistleblowers. The measure passed  by a margin of 331-94. 

In December 2007 the Senate unanimously passed S.274, its version of the law.

It is now August 2008, and Congress has not taken a single action to pass these reforms. Conference

Although the House/Senate conference committee has yet to issue its official conference report, many news outlets are now reporting that the final language has been approved, and that whistleblower protections for private sector manufacturing employees  will be included in the final version of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act (HR.4040)!

If these reports are

Two False Claims Act Settlements were reported yesterday, totaling approximately $280 million in fraudulently obtained government contract money that is now being returned to the US taxpayers.

  • Health insurance giant Amerigroup has settled with the governments of the United States and the State of Illinois, agreeing to pay $225 million plus legal fees. Amerigroup was

I attended the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning on the False Claims Act Correction Act of 2007.  Senators Leahy, Specter, Grassley and Durbin all attended intermittently, with Senator Grassley being the only member to attend the entire hearing. The witnesses were :

•    Michael Herz, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General representing  the Justice Department ;
•    Tina Gonter, a Qui Tam whistleblower;
•    John Clark, a former federal judge, now a Qui Tam attorney;
•    John Boese, a corporate attorney, representing the views of the U.S.  Chamber of Commerce.

Although each of the panelists had a distinctly different viewpoint on the False Claims Act, they did agree on one thing: that the FCA – having rooted out $20 billion in fraud since 1986, including $5 billion since 2005 — is a highly effective fraud-fighting tool and it should be kept that way.  But what should be done to upgrade the law, if anything?

Mr. Herz and the Department of Justice expressed agreement with some of the reforms in S.2041 (such as increasing the statute of limitations to ten years), …

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