The National Whistleblowers Center Press Room lists the latest press on whistleblower issues, NWC heroes, NWC staff, press releases on top issues, links to multimedia, and upcoming events.
NWC News Highlights
Today is National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. On this day in 1778 the Continental Congress passed what very well could be the world’s first whistleblower law. Our revolutionary forefathers, when they learned that two whistleblowers that had exposed misconduct by the highest-ranking U.S. naval official, were being prosecuted in the State of Rhode Island, agreed to act. They voted to spend precious monies from the new government’s treasury to ensure that the whistleblowers had lawyers to defend them. They voted to release all of the naval records documenting the whistleblower’s concerns.
Finally, the Founding Fathers, on July 30, 1778 passed our nation’s first whistleblower law. It’s message was clear and the vote was unanimous: “That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge."
Washington, D.C. December 27, 2012. The Washington Post published year-end articles that highlighted three ongoing projects of the National Whistleblower Center.
In an article published on December 26, "Top 10 stories in the federal workforce in 2012", The Washington Post cited the scandal involving FDA electronic spying on its own scientists who blew the whistle on agency misconduct. The Post ranked the FDA electronic spying scandal as the number 9 story that affected the federal workforce this past year. The NWC has been actively supporting the scientists who have sued the FDA for whistleblower retaliation and challenged the constitutionality of the FDA's secret monitoring of the scientists' personal and private emails. As revealed by the NWC and the whistleblower scientists, the FDA targeted the whistleblowers for electronic surveillance by installing secret spyware on their computers. The FDA captured confidential emails from the whistleblowers' personal and private email accounts (such as Yahoo and Gmail accounts) and the FDA stole the whistleblowers' confidential communications with their attorneys as well as communications with members of Congress, the Inspector General and others discussing the whistleblowers' allegations of serious wrongdoing by the agency.
Washington, D.C. November 29, 2012 - On November 5, 2012, the National
Whistleblower Center filed a briefing paper/amicus brief with the
Internal Revenue Service addressing key questions of law governing the
IRS Whistleblower program. The brief, linked here, addresses the issue
of "collected proceeds" under the IRS whistleblower law. The "collected
proceeds" issue impacts hundreds if not thousands of cases in which the
IRS must determine whether a whistleblower is entitled to a reward
based on monies obtained by the U.S. government related to tax
November 27, 2012
By Samuel Rubenfeld
President Barack Obama signed new whistleblower protections into law, the White House said Tuesday.
The law, known as the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (pdf), expands protections for federal workers who blow the whistle on misconduct, fraud and illegality.
Former FBI Agent John Roberts profiled on 60 Minutes.
Recent Press Releases
Washington, D.C. October 22, 2014. Yesterday, the National Whistleblower Center filed a “friend of court” brief in Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Carter before the U.S. Supreme Court. The extensive brief delivers a full rebuttal of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and Kellogg Brown & Root’s (KBR) attack on the integrity of whistleblowers.
The Chamber and its corporate allies (in this case KBR) are attempting convince the Supreme Court to narrow the scope of whistleblowers eligible to file cases under the False Claims Act. Their position would block whistleblowers with key original information on government fraud from filing their cases by a hyper technical technicality.
New York City, New York. September 17, 2014. In a speech delivered today at New York University School of Law, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder publicly endorsed enlarging U.S. whistleblower reward laws to include expanded rewards under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, better known as “FIRREA.”
The Attorney General acknowledged the tremendous success of other whistleblower reward laws, explaining how incentivizing whistleblowers would “significantly improve the Justice Department’s ability to gather evidence of wrongdoing while complex financial crimes are still in progress – making it easier to complete investigations and to stop misconduct before it becomes so widespread that it foments the next crisis.”
Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, strongly praised Holder’s proposal:
Requests that the Hearing Scheduled for July 30, 2014 Present Balanced TestimonyWashington, D.C. July 25, 2014. Today the National Whistleblower Center released a new report entitled “Saving America's 'Most Important Tool to Uncover and Punish Fraud.'” The report rebuts arguments being raised by the Chamber of Commerce as part of its aggressive lobbying campaign to undercut and weaken the False Claims Act.
The FCA is widely acknowledged as America’s most effective anti-fraud law. It encourages whistleblowers to report fraud in government contracting, and results in the recovery of billions of dollars every year from fraudulent government contractors. The Chamber is preparing to testify at an upcoming hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in order to pave the way for Congress to weaken the FCA.
SOX whistleblower protection covers mutual fund industry
Washington, D.C. March 4, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in Lawson v. FMR, LLC, that contractors and subcontractors of publicly traded companies are fully protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for corporate whistleblowers.
Significantly, in today's decision the Supreme Court explicitly held that investment advisors and other "independent contractors" employed in the mutual fund industry are fully protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's whistleblower provisions. The Supreme Court's ruling reversed a lower court holding excluding the mutual fund industry from protection under Sarbanes-Oxley.
FBI Whistleblower Dr. Frederic Whitehurst on Larry King Live.