FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 2, 2023
Updated: November 30, 2023
163 Organizations Call on Congress to Strengthen Whistleblower Protections for Government Contractors
Groups Spanning a Wide Array of Issue Areas Urge Passage of the Expanding Whistleblower Protections for Contractors Act of 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, Government Accountability Project along with 162 other public interest organizations sent a letter to Congress urging them to pass legislation to modernize and strengthen legal protections for government contractor and grantee whistleblowers who expose fraud, waste of funds, or abuse of authority in federal spending.
The Expanding Whistleblower Protections for Contractors Act of 2023, S.1524, would address several shortcomings in the current law, including its failure to protect whistleblowers from retaliation for reporting misconduct occurring internationally; to protect employees from retaliation for refusing to violate the law; to guarantee court access; to protect against blocklisting, retaliatory SLAPP suits and criminal prosecutions, or to provide any protection for corporations that are retaliated against for whistleblowing. This legislation is due for markup in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs in November 2023.
Organizations representing a plethora of issue areas and both sides of the political aisle are calling on Congress to protect the millions of federal contractors and grantees who are in the best position to ensure that billions in taxpayer dollars are spent accountably. From good government groups such as Public Citizen, anti-waste groups such as the National Taxpayers Union and the Taxpayer Protection Alliance, to faith groups like the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility—the diversity of support from religious, environmental, health care, taxpayer rights, worker rights, democracy, immigration, tech policy and free speech groups reflects the scope of projects that receive enormous amounts of federal funding where whistleblowers have been vital to exposing fraud, waste and abuse.
Government Accountability Project Legal Director, Tom Devine, commented:
“In 2009 when Congress approved $700 million in defense spending, it wisely included best practice whistleblower protection that Inspectors General credited with keeping fraud and waste to a minimum. But it has approved over $4 trillion in new discretionary spending, without updating whistleblower laws that have been gutted to irrelevance. If Congress wants to reduce indefensible spending, whistleblowers who defend the taxpayers must have credible rights to defend themselves.”
Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
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.