During Sunshine Week 2024, Senator Grassley Sheds Light on Whistleblowers

Grassley Whistleblowers

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) kicked off Sunshine Week on March 11 with remarks on the Senate floor about the importance of whistleblowers in promoting transparency and accountability.

In his remarks, Grassley stressed that “to control a government as big as ours, it takes a lot of very bright light shining on every agency and office.” He further noted that “whistleblowers are patriots and our most powerful tool in rooting out waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct.”

Because of this, he called on all 74 Inspectors General (IG) of the executive branch to conduct a review of their respective agencies’ nondisclosure policies.

In an open letter to the IGs, he stated that all federal agencies must include an “anti-gag” provision in these forms and agreements which would inform employees of their rights to blow the whistle regarding congressional matters. Such a provision would also elucidate the reporting process for misconduct to inspectors general and the Office of Special Counsel.

“The importance of whistleblowers knowing their rights under the law cannot be stated enough, and federal agencies should encourage their employees to disclose allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse,” wrote Grassley. “Federal agencies cannot be allowed to conceal their wrongdoing behind illegal nondisclosure policies and related actions.”

From the DOJ to the Veterans Administration, Grassley drew on the history of contributions of whistleblowers in his speech. He celebrated the legacy of whistleblowers in the U.S., noting that “whistleblowers have helped to let the sunshine in where it matters most.” For him, Sunshine Week “is an opportunity for us, doing our constitutional duty of oversight, to highlight these efforts and to remind us that shining a constant light is essential to making government accountable to We the People.”

Senator Grassley has long been a champion of whistleblowers’ rights and protection, spearheading visibility within the government. Grassley is the co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, a bipartisan effort to advocate for whistleblowers, bolster action for legislation, and spread knowledge among Senate offices, educating them in programs centered around adequate response to whistleblower disclosures and possible retaliation. Furthermore, Grassley has been a staunch defender of the False Claims Act. In December 2023, in response to attacks on the FCA’s qui tam whistleblower provisions, Grassley urged courts to maintain precedent and preserve the integrity of the FCA.

Grassley has stressed time and time again the need to recognize and support whistleblowers beyond Sunshine Week and National Whistleblower Day, emphasizing that the fight is a year-round commitment.


Exit mobile version