Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More whistleblower protections

A bipartisan effort to strengthen whistleblower and conflict-of-interest laws may actually pass now that Democrats control Congress.

House lawmakers debated measures Tuesday that would strengthen whistleblower protections, restrict "revolving door" employee movement between agencies and industry, and require senior officials to report meetings with lobbyists and others seeking to influence government actions.

Both the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (H.R. 985) and the Executive Branch Reform Act (H.R. 984) were introduced in similar form in the last Congress, and were overwhelmingly approved in committee, only to be sidelined without reaching the floor for a vote.

Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., reintroduced the two bills with the hope that they will make better progress in the new Congress.

Protecting and rewarding whistleblowers is not a partisan issue; it's a corruption issue. Despite various laws preventing retaliation against whistleblowers, most people who pipe up find their careers destroyed: any bureaucracy does what it has to to protect itself.

The bills are not comprehensive or perfect, but they're a step in the right direction. And assuming the bills actually pass out of committee this time -- which seems likely -- it's a step that the last Congress refused to take.

, ,

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home