July 30, 2023 is officially National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. For the tenth consecutive year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a National Whistleblower Day Resolution which encourages each federal agency to recognize the day by informing employees of their whistleblower rights and “acknowledging the contributions of whistleblowers to combating waste, fraud, abuse, and violations of laws and regulations of the United States.”
In recent years, a growing number of federal agencies have recognized National Whistleblower Day. Ahead of this year’s National Whistleblower Day, some agencies confirmed with Whistleblower Network News their plans for the holiday.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) informed WNN that:
“Each year, we celebrate National Whistleblower Appreciation Day by hosting a panel that draws hundreds of attendees from the EPA, CSB, and EPA OIG. The Inspector General also sends out an agencywide message highlighting the OIG’s role in encouraging whistleblowers and informing them of their rights and protections.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) told WNN that:
“Each year, VA celebrates National Whistleblower Protection Day – recognizing the brave individuals who hold us accountable to delivering world-class care and benefits for Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors. We rely on whistleblowers to speak up and draw attention to potential misconduct, fraud, waste and abuse. That is why we nurture a culture where every employee is encouraged and empowered to speak up to ensure we meet the highest standards in serving Veterans and each other.
“For this year’s National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, the Secretary will once again send a message to all employees to emphasize their important role in this process and remind them that they can report any issues through their chain of command, VA leadership, the Office of Inspector General, or the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. We also have ongoing online and in-person training on whistleblowing throughout the year, reminding employees that if they come forward to ‘blow the whistle’ on wrongdoing, they will be treated with dignity and confidentiality.”
In response to an inquiry from WNN, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) stated that:
“Whistleblowers help the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) protect consumers and support the rule of law, and the CFPB has welcomed whistleblower allegations since its inception. This year, the CFPB will commemorate National Whistleblower Appreciation Day on social media, directing the public to the agency’s whistleblower page and tip line.”
“NWC strongly supports federal agencies taking action to educate their employees about their right to blow the whistle,” said NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson. “We are excited that year over year these agencies improve their efforts and hope for federal recognition mandating this activity throughout the government. Recognizing whistleblowers and educating employees should not be an option, it’s a responsibility.”
NWC will once again celebrate National Whistleblower Day with an in-person event on Capitol Hill. This year’s celebration will take place on July 27 and feature remarks by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Earlier this year, a group of whistleblowers launched a campaign calling for the permanent recognition of National Whistleblower Day. While the Senate has designated July 30 as National Whistleblower appreciation Day annually, the whistleblowers believe that President Biden should sign an executive order permanently establishing National Whistleblower Day and requiring all federal agencies to recognize the day.
Part of the reasoning behind the campaign is that a permanent National Whistleblower Day will allow federal agencies to develop more robust programming in recognition of the day.