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Friday, March 10, 2017

Sen. Baldwin joins bipartisan group of Senators calling on agencies to support whistleblowers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined a bipartisan group of Senators, led by Senator Chuck Grassley, in expressing the need to protect and encourage whistleblowers who shine light on fraud, waste and mismanagement in government.  In a letter to 18 federal agencies, 11 members of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus are calling on government leaders to promote a culture that welcomes whistleblower disclosures and condemns attacks on whistleblower rights.
“All Americans are better off when whistleblowers step forward and report misconduct without fear of retaliation.  Consistent with your statutory responsibilities, we ask that you remind employees at your agency about their ability to make protected disclosures in accordance with whistleblower protection laws.  We also ask that you remind all incoming employees and managers that retaliation against whistleblowers will not be tolerated,” the senators said in the letter.
Dating back to the nation’s earliest days, whistleblowers have played a valuable role in identifying flaws in government. However, they often face reprisal from within their own ranks for calling attention to waste, fraud and mismanagement. In the letter today, the senators reference policies protecting employees who disclose problems in government, either through their chain of command or to Congress.  The senators also call on agency leaders to remind employees of procedures for making protected disclosures as well as protections in place to prevent and respond to retaliation.
Joining Grassley and Baldwin on the letter are Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ed Markey (D-MA), John Boozman (R-AR), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Tom Carper (D-DE).
The cosigners are all members of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus.  The caucus raises awareness of the need for adequate protections against retaliation for private sector and government employees who call attention to wrongdoing.  The caucus’ mission is to foster bipartisan discussion on legislative issues affecting the treatment of whistleblowers and serve as a clearinghouse for current information on whistleblower developments as well as best practices for responding to whistleblower disclosures and claims of retaliation.


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