WASHINGTON, D.C. | May 27, 2021 — This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) confirmed its commitment to educate agency employees and personnel about their rights as whistleblowers. This announcement came in response to a National Whistleblower Center (NWC) letter sent to the agency urging it to implement educational programming around National Whistleblower Day, celebrated each year on July 30th.
On April 21st, NWC sent letters to the leaders of each executive office and agency. These letters urged support for whistleblowers by informing employees, contractors, and members of the public about the legal right of U.S. citizens to “blow the whistle.” The letters were sent as part of NWC’s efforts to have National Whistleblower Day recognized across the federal government in perpetuity.
NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson said, “We commend Secretary Becerra, OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator Eyana J. Esters, and all of HHS for their recognition of whistleblowers and their work to solidify their commitments to them. The response of HHS demonstrates that it is completely feasible for large agencies to implement the educational programming recommended by NWC. Designating July 30th as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day would support agencies like HHS in their efforts to ensure federal employees are aware of their rights – as well as motivate other agencies to adopt similar programs.”
Widespread acknowledgement across the federal government of the importance of whistleblowers is a critical step in changing the culture of retaliation against whistleblowers that persists today. To impact change on this culture, NWC calls for a permanent National Whistleblower Day to ensure the federal government recognizes the contributions of whistleblowers every year.
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