Washington, D.C. July 29, 2016. The National Whistleblower Center commends the Council of the Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency, the Office of Special Counsel and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for being the first three federal executive agencies to recognize National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The Agencies plan to hold a joint event at the Capital Hill Visitors Center on August 1, 2016, at 1pm.
In 2011 the NWC Executive Director uncovered the history of America’s first whistleblowers. (see NYT Column, “The Whistleblowers of 1777”). Ten sailors and marines blew the whistle on misconduct committed by the first Commodore of the U.S. Navy, eventually triggering the Continental Congress to pass America’s first whistleblower law on July 30, 1778.
Whistleblower Day commemorates the actions taken by our Founding Fathers. The U.S. Senate unanimously recognized July 30th as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, and urged all federal agencies to commemorate this day.
In a statement issued today, the NWC Executive Director, Stephen M. Kohn stated:
“The Council of IGs, the OSC and OSHA have taken an important first step in publicly recognizing the contributions of whistleblowers. We strongly urge every federal agency to follow this lead. We need to change the culture that views whistleblowers as the enemy. Our Founding Fathers got it right when they fully supported the first whistleblowers who exposed misconduct, even when their disclosures occurred during time of war.
“We urge Congress to immediately pass pending legislation to close dangerous loopholes in whistleblower protection, including the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and the Whistleblower Augmented Reward and Nonretaliation Act (H4619 & S2591).
“Whistleblower Day is a time for all Americans to reflect on the contributions and sacrifices whistleblowers have made, and to TAKE ACTION to support whistleblowers.”