March 6, 2024  

Senate Committee Unanimously Votes Bi-partisan Mandate for Government Contractor Whistleblower Protections  


WASHINGTON – This morning, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs issued a unanimous bi-partisan mandate for taxpayer accountability.  In a unanimous vote, the Committee passed S. 1524, Expanding Whistleblower Protections for Contractors Act of 2023. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Peters (D-MI) and cosponsored by Senator Braun (R-IN) would expand the protection of government contractor whistleblowers. These protections would protect whistleblowers expanding contract misconduct that occurs internationally; restore access to jury trials; protect refusal to violate the law; protect contractors as well as employees from retaliation; expand authority of Inspectors General to seek discipline for retaliation; and close reporting loopholes for disclosures to pandemic relief and other government agencies.  

180 organizations committed to good government principles across political affiliations united in support this reform for accountability for taxpayer-funded government activities. Since 2020, Congress has approved over four trillion dollars in new federal spending for government contractors. S. 1524 modernizes and repairs a government contractor whistleblower law passed after the Obama stimulus and credited by Inspectors General with a significant impact on keeping fraud, waste and abuse surprisingly low. Unfortunately, since the law’s original 2012 passage, a group of large contractors who have been prosecuted in the past for fraud, have waged a relentless campaign against legal rights for whistleblowers, effectively gutting a previously effective law against fraud. This legislation restores the law’s original boundaries and upgrades it or consistency with the civil service Whistleblower Protection Act. 

Legal Director, Tom Devine, commented,  

“All laws challenging abuses of power require periodic maintenance based on lessons learned and the need to fill enforcement loopholes. The government contractor whistleblower law is long-overdue for a tune-up.  Due to relentless attacks by the corporate “fraud lobby” of convicted contractors, a once highly effective shield against fraud, waste and abuse has been gutted to near irrelevance. That is unacceptable when, depending on the year, between two and three times more contractor employees spend taxpayer funds than actual government workers. It is unacceptable when there has been a surge of over $4 trillion in new spending, and the Justice Inspector General conservatively estimated over $100 billion in fraud from pandemic relief alone.  If the bill becomes law, the current pattern of fleecing the taxpayers will reverse. Enactment into law would mean a breakthrough in accountability when needed most.”  

Contact: Mary Allain, Interim Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 926-3304  

Government Accountability Project  

Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.