FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 16, 2020
Government Accountability Project and Other Whistleblower Groups Applaud New Protection for Financial Whistleblowers
WASHINGTON — Government Accountability Project applauds congressional approval of best practice rights to protect financial whistleblowers in section 6314 of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The provisions originated in the Corporate Transparency Act introduced by lead sponsor Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), which was included in the NDAA. The bill’s objective was to stop the misuse of anonymous shell companies by requiring companies in the United States to disclose their beneficial owners. Section 6314 also includes “bounty” provisions providing recoveries to whistleblowers whose disclosures lead to successful enforcement action. In the attached letter to congressional leaders, Government Accountability Project joined the Project on Government Oversight, Acorn 8, Public Citizen, and Whistleblowers of America in praising the bi-partisan breakthrough in financial whistleblower rights.
Government Accountability Project Legal Director Tom Devine commented:
“Section 6314 creates a new gold standard in U.S. law to protect whistleblowers challenging financial misconduct. Unlike the Dodd-Frank Act, it protects those who make internal disclosures where they work, including communications that are part of their job duties, and extending to post-employment retaliation. Most significant, it not only protects disclosures of money laundering through anonymous shell companies, but exposure of illegality that violates any law, rule or regulation enforced by the Treasury Department.”
Whistleblowers have up to six years to challenge retaliation, and the law includes best practice provisions for confidentiality, legal burdens of proof, shields against gag orders, and relief for those who win. Whistleblowers left unsupported have all too often suffered from retaliation that can lead to other poor psychosocial conditions, such as homelessness, divorce, depression, anxiety, and suicide.
This legislation is not the only new law providing legal rights for those challenging corporate misconduct. This month Congress also passed the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, S.2258, which extends to anti-trust whistleblowers the rights first enacted in the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Those include access to court for a jury trial if there is not a timely administrative ruling.
Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director
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.