Washington, D.C. July 8, 2016. Yesterday, U.S. Senate unanimously passed S.Res.522, designating July 30, 2016 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
The resolution encourages all federal agencies to inform “employees, contractors working on behalf of United States taxpayers, and members of the public about the legal rights of citizens of the United States to ‘blow the whistle’ by honest and good faith reporting of misconduct, fraud, misdemeanors, or other crimes to the appropriate authorities.” Federal whistleblowers are encouraged to step forward if they see any fraud or corruption. The resolution also acknowledges the contributions whistleblowers have made, at their own personal risk, “combating waste, fraud, abuse.”
The designation of July 30th is to commemorate legislation passed by the Continental Congress on that date in 1778, which stated that government employees have a duty to report misconduct, fraud and other crimes in government to the appropriate authorities in a timely manner.
The resolution was introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley and cosponsored by all 14 members of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus (seven Democrats and seven Republicans). It passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent yesterday evening.
“The resolution demonstrates that whistleblowers are key to government accountability, and rest at the very heart of the American democratic tradition. It commemorates America’s first whistleblower law, passed unanimously by the Continental Congress on July 30, 1778,” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.
National Whistleblower Day was sparked by the re-discovery of America’s first whistleblower law, enacted on July 30, 1778. The rediscovery was based on original historical research first published in The Whistleblower’s Handbook, written by Kohn.