On May 16, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) sent letters to federal agencies urging them to create and implement educational programming in support of National Whistleblower Day. National Whistleblower Day is July 30, the anniversary of the United States’ first whistleblower law.
Each year, NWC calls upon federal agencies to recognize the day by “informing employees, contractors, and members of the public about the legal right of a United States citizen to ‘blow the whistle’ as well as acknowledging the contributions of whistleblowers to combating fraud, abuses of authority, threats to the environment and the public health and safety and other violations of law.”
“I am so proud to continue the tradition of sending letters to heads of federal agencies, along with the President and Vice President,” said NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson. “It is critical that these highly influential people help recognize whistleblowers throughout the government and build a culture that will not accept retaliation and instead recognizes and rewards whistleblowers.”
National Whistleblower Appreciation Day has been unanimously recognized by the U.S. Senate each year since 2013. On National Whistleblower Day in 2021, Nelson wrote an op-ed for WNN calling upon the Senate to permanently recognize the holiday.
In 2021, a number of federal agencies recognized National Whistleblower Day. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both responded to NWC’s letter that year and committed to celebrating National Whistleblower Day. On July 29, 2021, the EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an agency-wide memo about National Whistleblower Day. The memo recounts the history of the United States’ first whistleblower law and states: “The fact that protections for whistleblowers have existed—no matter how rudimentary at first—for almost as long as our country illustrates the high regard our nation’s founders held for those who root out waste, fraud, and abuse.” The memo further notes that the goal of National Whistleblower Day is “to recognize the whistleblowers of the past and educate the whistleblowers of the future.”
The OIGs of several other federal agencies also released statements for National Whistleblower Day. These include AmeriCorps, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the General Services Administration (GSA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Department of the Interior (DOI). Most of these statements mention the history behind National Whistleblower Day, assert the OIGs’ commitment to protecting whistleblowers, and highlight the necessary contributions whistleblowers make.
In celebration of National Whistleblower Day this year, NWC will once again be hosting a free virtual event. The event will be live on July 28 through July 30 and will feature a range of speeches from policymakers, whistleblowers, and their advocates, as well as a series of panels on pressing whistleblower issues.