FBI Whistleblower Program Undergoing Overhaul
By Jason Enzler
The FBI’s whistleblower rules are set for a significant expansion. According to a letter made public this week from the Department of Justice to Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, the agency will make changes to eleven areas of its program. Once implemented, the new rules would give FBI whistleblowers protections more similar to those available to other government employees.
Under the new rules, FBI whistleblowers will have access to mediation, the right to receive compensatory damages, equal access to witnesses, and decisions on their matters published. The list of officials to whom whistleblower reports can be made will be expanded, training will be implemented, and annual reports on the whistleblower program will be published. Unlike other government employees, however, the new FBI whistleblower rules will not afford whistleblowers the right to judicial review.
Senator Grassley welcomed the news, stating “Nobody’s got on rose-colored glasses that the culture for whistleblowers at the FBI will change anytime soon, but many of the items outlined in the FBI’s analysis are promising.” Senator Wyden added that “What’s important now is to make sure the Department follows through and really makes those changes.”