September 20, 2021

The Honorable Jim McGovern
House Rules Committee
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Tom Cole
Ranking Member
House Rules Committee
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Whistleblower Community Supports Amendment #109 to the FY 2022 National
Defense Authorization Act

Dear Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Cole:

The undersigned members of the Make It Safe Coalition (MISC) Steering Committee write to express our strong support for Representative Jackie Speier and Representative Nancy Mace’s bipartisan proposed amendment Act to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, to apply whistleblower protections to all federal coronavirus relief programs (Amendment #109). MISC is a non-partisan, trans-ideological coalition of 75 civil society organizations united by their commitment to effective freedom of speech rights for whistleblowers as a cornerstone of democracy. We support this critical amendment that would modernize America’s outdated government contractor whistleblower laws for government employees.

Government spending to address the devastating effects of COVID-19 could exceed $5 trillion, with a substantial portion going to government contractors rather than increase agency staff. With this unprecedented surge in spending, best practice whistleblower rights are essential to minimize fraud, waste and abuse. When President Obama proposed what was enacted as a $700 billion stimulus spending increase, a bi-partisan congressional coalition wisely created the whistleblower protections that Inspectors General credited with minimizing fraud and waste. Unfortunately, those safeguards have become badly dated, not keeping pace with global best practices to fight corruption. This whistleblower amendment would upgrade outdated laws to current best practices by –

• protecting government contractors from retaliation for blowing the whistle, not just their employees;
• ending the international loophole for U.S. contractor whistleblowers working in foreign locations;
• ending the technical sovereign immunity loophole that has canceled protection for all state and local employees who blow the whistle;
• adding protection against blacklisting;
• adding badly needed teeth to confidentiality protections for whistleblowers;
• providing whistleblowers a defense against civil or criminal prosecution for protected speech shielded against workplace harassment.

These added protections will provide essential updates to important but outdated rights. While inspired by the surge in spending for COVID-19, the amendment would modernize the full scope of government contractor whistleblower laws. The amendment will provide an accountability shield that matches global best practices.

America never has needed these rights more. Protection for whistleblowers is protection for American taxpayers.


Government Accountability Project
National Taxpayers Union
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Public Citizen
Taxpayer Protection Alliance
Transparency International (U.S. Office)
Whistleblowers of America