Whistleblower Protections In the Stimulus Package

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Whistleblower Protections In the Stimulus Package

Letter to the Editor
Washington Post
Friday, February 6, 2009; Page A16

The Feb. 2 editorial “Wrong Way to Protect” questioned the wisdom of including federal whistleblower protections in the stimulus package.

This concern was based on various provisions in the law, most notable being the possible release of classified information.

The Post missed the big issue by focusing on a few technical problems in the bill. House advocates from both parties were well aware of these problems and had agreed to resolve them in the House-Senate conference process. The House sponsors made this pledge directly during the floor debate in the House.

The real issue is oversight and accountability:

How can we best ensure that taxpayers will be protected when thousands of contractors are given hundreds of billions of dollars?

Every major study concludes that whistleblower protections are absolutely essential to detect fraud.

We agree with The Post that provisions related to disclosures of classified intelligence should be stricken from the legislation. But do not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Federal employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse need strong protection, and so do the taxpayers.

STEPHEN KOHN
President
National Whistleblower Center

DAVID COLAPINTO
General Counsel
National Whistleblower Center

Washington

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