(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees today urged Congress to pass an amendment that would strengthen federal workers whistleblower protections, and subsequently pass the stimulus bill.
Representatives Todd Platts (R-Pa.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are today offering an amendment to the stimulus bill that would restore and reinforce protections for federal workers who blow the whistle. The amendment, the Whistleblower Enhancement Act, passed by a wide bipartisan margin last Congress.
“Federal employee whistleblower protections are a necessity not a luxury,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “Americans must know that the federal employees who will oversee the vast array of programs and projects in the bill are protected from retaliation or reprisals when they blow the whistle on waste, fraud or abuse.
The Platts/VanHollen amendment also includes a provision that grants enforceable whistleblower protections to 45,000 Transportation Security Officers and the ability to seek a remedy from an external, independent fact finding body.
“It is imperative to the ever-declining TSA morale that TSOs not be forced to subject themselves to a self-serving process negotiated with their employer, the TSA,” Gage said.
AFGE also signed on to a coalition letter writing to “support the completion of the landmark, nine-year legislative effort to restore a credible Whistleblower Protection Act.”
The letter read, in part, “Whistleblower protection is a foundation for any change in which the public can believe. It does not matter whether the issue is economic recovery, prescription drug safety, environmental protection, infrastructure spending, national health insurance, or foreign policy. We need conscientious public servants willing and able to call attention to bureaucratic corruption on behalf of the taxpayers.”AFGE, Coalition Groups Urge Congress to Create/Restore Whistleblower Rights to TSOs, Other Key Federal EmployeesStatement of Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)