New Whistleblower Protections Approved by House Committee

Recognizing how important whistleblowers are to stopping fraud, the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today approved the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (H.R. 985).

The new whistleblower protections would apply to federal employees and government contractors. The law would establish whistleblower protections for scientific, intelligence and transportation security employees. It would also apparently mean that officials would investigate whether security clearances are revoked as retribution for a whistleblower’s reporting allegations of waste, fraud or abuse.

Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Cal.) introduced the bill last week. Additional amendments would strengthen the effectiveness of the whistleblower provisions.

We find it very encouraging that Congress is taking such logical steps to protect the public’s money from waste, fraud and abuse.

The specific sections of the proposed new whistleblower law are as follows:

H.R.985 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

SEC. 2. CLARIFICATION OF DISCLOSURES COVERED.

SEC. 3. COVERED DISCLOSURES.

SEC. 4. REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION.

SEC. 5. NONDISCLOSURE POLICIES, FORMS, AND AGREEMENTS.

SEC. 6. EXCLUSION OF AGENCIES BY THE PRESIDENT.

SEC. 7. DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

SEC. 8. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE STUDY ON REVOCATION OF SECURITY CLEARANCES.

SEC. 9. ALTERNATIVE RECOURSE.

SEC. 10. NATIONAL SECURITY WHISTLEBLOWER RIGHTS.

`Sec. 2303a. National security whistleblower rights
SEC. 11. ENHANCEMENT OF CONTRACTOR EMPLOYEE WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS.

SEC. 12. PROHIBITED PERSONNEL PRACTICES AFFECTING THE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION.

`Sec. 2304. Prohibited personnel practices affecting the Transportation Security Administration
SEC. 13. CLARIFICATION OF WHISTLEBLOWER RIGHTS RELATING TO SCIENTIFIC AND OTHER RESEARCH.

SEC. 14. EFFECTIVE DATE.