On July 29, government officials from across the federal government as well as a bipartisan group of Congress members spoke at the National Whistleblower Center’s (NWC) National Whistleblower Day 2021 celebration. The speakers each expressed gratitude for the bravery of whistleblowers and spoke to the vital role whistleblowing plays in oversight and accountability.
Highlights from the day included Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh telling American workers that their right to blow the whistle is protected, SEC Chair Gary Gensler announcing that his staff is reviewing the highly successful SEC Whistleblower Program, and Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) calling for stronger whistleblower protections.
The National Whistleblower 2021 celebration continues on July 30 with speeches and panels featuring high profile whistleblowers. RSVP here for the event.
Remarks delivered during the day’s programming included the following quotes:
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh: “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day is a day to honor the men and women who have bravely stepped forward to report workplace misconduct and dangerous conditions. They have not only protected themselves, they have protected their coworkers, and they have protected their community.”
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz: “What [whistleblowers] do is critical to the oversight community but most importantly critical to ensuring that government programs serve the taxpayers.”
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “Each year we celebrate whistleblowers and the important role that they play in keeping our government transparent and accountable.”
Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA): “Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen time and time again that whistleblowers serve as the moral compass for our country.”
SEC Chair Gary Gensler: “The tips, complaints, and referrals that whistleblowers provide are crucial to the Securities and Exchange Commission as we enforce the rules of the road for our capital markets.”
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR): “I want everybody to keep blowing the whistle. A lot of us are listening. The cornerstone of democracy is an informed public.”
Representative John Garamendi (D-CA): “I know that Congress needs whistleblowers. We can’t do our job unless there’s whistleblowers.”
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA): “Making sure that federal agencies are following the law and doing their job properly is critical. Whistleblowers play an important role in holding our government accountable.”
Special Counsel Henry Kerner: “Today on National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, OSC joins federal agencies and departments in recognition of whistleblowers, and we honor every individual who has bravely shined a light on wrongdoing.”
NSA Inspector General Rob Storch: “Whistleblowers provide a valuable service when they come forward with what they reasonably believe to be evidence of wrongdoing, they should never face reprisal for doing so.”
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ): ““Whistleblowers risk it all to speak truth to power. Whistleblowers are invaluable partners in curbing waste of taxpayer dollars, fraud, and abuse of power, and ensuring that everyday Americans can have faith and confidence that our government is working for them.”
Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-D): “I’ve seen firsthand how important whistleblowers are to federal oversight. Many of our efforts to conduct government oversight and reform would not have been possible without the whistleblower system.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL): “This National Whistleblower Day, we honor those who have upheld this duty to truth and transparency. We honor those who, despite the risk of retribution, bravely shed light on waste and fraud to protect our public safety, our environment, and countless American lives.”