Advocates Making Final Push to Ensure DOJ Whistleblower Program is a Success

DOJ Whistleblower Program

As the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) nears the conclusion of its “90-day policy sprint” to develop a whistleblower awards program, whistleblower advocates are making a final push calling on the DOJ to implement best practices found in other successful whistleblower programs.

The policy sprint, announced on March 7, is a process “to gather information, consult with stakeholders, and design a thoughtful, well-informed program,” according to Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri.

Since the announcement, whistleblower advocates have noted that the whistleblower program has the potential to greatly bolster the DOJ’s efforts to combat fraud and corruption. However, they claim that it will only be effective if it follows the model of proven whistleblower programs.

On May 24, leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, a founding partner of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, published a new article in the Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog entitled “What’s Needed to Make the Justice Department’s New Whistleblower Program Work?”

In the piece, Kohn outlines the crucial elements of successful whistleblower programs, such as the SEC Whistleblower Program, and explains how the DOJ can incorporate them into its program. 

“Underlying the Justice Department’s ‘sprint’ to create a new whistleblower program is the recognition that certain whistleblower programs have worked well,” Kohn writes. “A body of knowledge developed over 40 years shows why programs created under the Dodd-Frank and False Claims Act have worked, and why other whistleblower programs have failed. Most of the key features of successful whistleblower laws, all of which should be implemented by the Justice Department, are outlined below.”

Kohn’s piece echos an article published in April by former-SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee. In her piece, “A Proven Success: The SEC Whistleblower Regime Provides a Roadmap for DOJ’s New Program,” Lee similarly outlines the critical components of the SEC Whistleblower Program and claims it serves as a strong model for the DOJ to follow.

During the 90-day sprint, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) has been calling upon the public to join in the calls for the DOJ to follow proven best practices for whistleblower award programs.

NWC has issued an Action Alert allowing individuals to write to the DOJ, Congress, and White House calling for the same elements pushed for by Kohn, Lee and other whistleblower advocates.


90 Day Policy Sprint for DOJ Whistleblower Rewards Program

Further Reading:

What’s Needed to Make the Justice Department’s New Whistleblower Program Work?

DOJ Must Listen to the Whistleblower Community in Developing Whistleblower Program

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