The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) wages advocacy campaigns focused on protecting people and the environment from corruption – with whistleblowers serving in a critical leadership role. These campaigns often include U.S.-based legislative and agency actions. As a result, NWC closely monitors Congressional action, including proposed and passed legislation, along with federal agency actions, including rule proposals and revisions.
NWC is currently working towards multiple legislative and agency aims, including:
- Introducing legislation to protect and reward climate change whistleblowers and implementing stronger rules for climate risk disclosure
- Reintroducing powerful anti-wildlife trafficking legislation with strong whistleblower provisions
- Strengthening the anti-money laundering whistleblower provisions included in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act
- Reversing the disastrous Digital Realty decision to ensure internal securities whistleblowers are protected
- Overturning recent setbacks to the False Claims Act like the Granston memo and Escobar decision
- Removing the whistleblower reward cap from FIRREA to better incentivize high-impact banking whistleblowers
- Clarifying judicial standard of review and incentivizing timely award disbursal for tax fraud whistleblowers
- Strengthening protections for federal employee whistleblowers, including access to federal court
- Passing accountability provisions for coronavirus spending activity
- Reforming the Occupational Safety and Health Act as current protections for Covid-19 whistleblowers have proven inadequate
- Enacting a National Whistleblower Day in the U.S.
Updates from the 117th Congress
The Merit Systems Protection Board Empowerment Act was introduced into the House by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) on February 23rd in light of the current crisis at the MSPB, which has lacked a quorum for over four years and not had a single sitting member for two years.
The Empowerment Act contains four key improvements. It: (1) reauthorizes the MSPB through 2026; (2) allows the MSPB to conduct employee surveys; (3) enables the MSPB to collect information on applicants for federal employment; and (4) requires successful completion of whistleblower training for MSPB members, administrative judges, and other applicable employees.
On January 4th, 2021, the House of Representatives adopted a new rule, H. Res. 8, to protect the identity of whistleblowers who anonymously report wrongdoing to the House. H. Res. 8 was announced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in response to efforts to unmask the identity of the Intelligence Community whistleblower, whose disclosures led to the impeachment of President Trump over the Ukraine scandal.
The new whistleblower rule will strengthen bipartisan Congressional oversight. It follows federal laws providing for whistleblower confidentiality and prohibits House Members from disclosing the identity of whistleblowers who fall under the protection of any federal whistleblower law. The rule makes the disclosure of a federal whistleblower’s identity a violation of the House’s Official Code of Conduct.