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Grassley Gives Failing Grade to Government on Key Whistleblower Protection

Posted  April 10, 2014

By Jason Enzler

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), noted whistleblower champion, reviewed all 15 executive branch departments for their compliance with an important whistleblower law, releasing his findings last week.  The results were not good.  Only the Treasury Department received a passing grade.

At issue is the so-called “anti-gag” protections mandated by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (“WPEA”).  This provision requires agencies to make it clear to employees that, regardless of any non-disclosure agreements they may sign, they are at all times free to report suspected wrongdoing to appropriate authorities.

While the Treasury received a B+ for its compliance with this key whistleblower protection, the other end of the spectrum was not so pretty.  Nine departments earned a C because they could show only partial compliance with the law.  For the remaining five, including the Justice Department, it was even uglier: D’s and F’s because they could not demonstrate even partial compliance, or flat-out refused to do so.

As Grassley noted in an op-ed piece in The Hill: “Transparency and accountability are not partisan issues.  It is in the public interest to let the sun shine on waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.  Whistleblowers protect the integrity of government.”  Only time will tell whether the government has learned its lesson from “Professor” Grassley.