|National Whistleblowers Center's Statement on the Senate Markup of the Whistleblower Enhancement Act|
Washington, D.C. July 29, 2009. Today the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs issued its markup of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009 (S. 372). In response to the Senate Committee action, the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, Mr. Stephen M. Kohn issued the following statement:
"The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has taken a step towards fixing the broken federal whistleblower protection system. We urge the House and Senate Members to work together to pass truly effective reforms for federal employees. The Senate did the right thing in putting forward a provision, which permits federal employees to remove their cases to federal court. However, the procedural and substantive limitations on these fundamental due process rights should be removed."
"We are disappointed that the Senate bill incorporates a number of
provisions into the proposed law which actually reduce current rights
exercised by some employees. Most notably, the national security
provision significantly undercuts the current authority of Inspectors
General to investigate whistleblower retaliation claims. The Senate
bill also repeals an important provision under current law that
mandates that the Attorney General provide administrative protections
for FBI employees."
"We continue to urge the Senate to further amend S. 372 to include key protections contained in the House version of the bill (H.R. 1507). The Obama Campaign endorsed explicitly endorsed the House bill, as did numerous other leading 2008 presidential candidates, such as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Arkansas Governor Michael Huckabee. We expect President Obama to fulfill this vital non-partisan campaign promise."
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