DOJ Must Listen to the Whistleblower Community in Developing Whistleblower Program


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is in the midst of a “90-day sprint” to develop a whistleblower award program. A DOJ Whistleblower Program based on proven best practices has the potential to revolutionize the agency’s enforcement of corporate crime and corruption. Time and time again, whistleblower programs which fairly and consistently award and protect qualified whistleblowers have proven to be unmatched in their ability to incentivize insiders to come forward and disclose fraud and misconduct.

It is imperative, however, that the DOJ correctly identifies what the best practices of whistleblower award programs are. Luckily for the DOJ, over the past couple of decades, the best practices for whistleblower award programs have been clearly shown through the huge success of award programs at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In announcing the DOJ program, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco stated that these very programs “have proven indispensable.”

Since the DOJ announced the development of the program, the whistleblower community has directly engaged with the agency to explain why exactly these programs have been so successful. Whistleblower advocacy groups, including National Whistleblower Center (NWC), The Anti-Fraud Coalition (TAF) and Government Accountability Project (GAP), have met with DOJ officials and sent letters detailing the proven best practices of successful whistleblower award programs.

Among the key best practices highlighted by the whistleblower community include four key elements:

  1. Mandatory whistleblower awards for qualified whistleblower
  2. Anonymous and confidential reporting channels
  3. A dedicated Whistleblower Office
  4. Clear eligibility criteria

The DOJ must listen to the whistleblower community and incorporate these best practices if it is truly committed to establishing an effective whistleblower program. According to Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, “the whole point of the DAG’s 90-day ‘policy sprint’ is to gather information, consult with stakeholders, and design a thoughtful, well-informed program.”

National Whistleblower Center is calling on whistleblower supporters to join in urging the DOJ to follow proven best practices for its whistleblower award program. It has set up an Action Alert allowing individuals to write to the DOJ, as well as to Congress and the White House, explaining why these best practices are so essential and have proven to work for whistleblowers.

Join NWC in Taking Action: 90 Day Policy Sprint for DOJ Whistleblower Rewards Program

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