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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
"Given the huge increases in federal spending, combined with the clear
need for strong oversight and accountability of federal power and the
use of taxpayer dollars, there is an urgent need for President Obama to
ensure that his campaign promise is fully implemented."
NWC General Counsel David K. Colapinto has carefully analyzed this
complex Senate bill. He has provided an expert analysis and commentary
on the Senate bill. Mr. Colapinto's analysis is set forth on www.whistleblowersblog.org . Mr.
Colapinto has represented federal employee whistleblowers for over 20
years and has been actively involved in the legislative development of
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Stephen M. Kohn (202) 342-6980
David K. Colapinto (202) 342-6980
Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903