On Monday, President Trump signed a related bipartisan bill into law, the Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act. Championed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, it permanently reauthorizes a “Whistleblower Protection Coordinator” at each agency’s Office of Inspector General.
Such positions had existed since 2012 but were subject to reauthorization. The ombudsmen educate employees, contractors and grantees about prohibitions against retaliation for making legitimate disclosures.
Their permanence was welcomed by Office of Special Counsel head Henry Kerner, who said, ‘By signing this important legislation into law, whistleblowers will now have a dedicated official permanently at each agency to educate the workforce and work with OSC to protect against retaliation. This is an important step to ensure whistleblowers who disclose waste, fraud and abuse know their rights and are protected.’
Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, an advocacy and legal advisory group, was also pleased. GAP issued a statement with the Make It Safe Coalition, saying, “’This legislation makes permanent the infrastructure for the Whistleblower Protection Act rights to take root. It also is Iowa’s good government gift to taxpayers. Senator Grassley and Representative [Rod] Blum [R-Iowa] lead the Senate and House Whistleblower Caucuses.’”
Author: Charles S. Clark
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