New U.S. Special Counsel Supports an Annual National Whistleblower Day

National Whistleblower Day 2019

On February 27, the U.S. Senate confirmed Hampton Dellinger as the new Special Counsel heading the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC). The OSC is an independent agency that protects federal employees from prohibited personnel practices, including whistleblower retaliation. The watchdog agency also investigates whistleblower disclosures about wrongdoing in federal agencies.

Dellinger previously served in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as an Assistant Attorney General overseeing the Office of Legal Policy and as Deputy Attorney General in the North Carolina Department of Justice. In these roles, he represented qui tam whistleblowers in False Claims Act cases alleging government contracting fraud.

During a Senate confirmation hearing in November, Dellinger expressed his commitment towards protecting whistleblowers and voiced his support for an annual National Whistleblower Day.

“Federal government whistleblowers deserve and are legally entitled to robust protection from retaliation,” Dellinger said. “And my overriding goal will be to contribute to greater trust in government including by protecting whistleblowers vigorously.”

“I strongly agree we should have an annual designated National Whistleblowers Day to acknowledge their inestimable contributions to government accountability and transparency,” Dellinger added.

Each year since 2013, the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution designating July 30 as National Whistleblower Day. The date commemorates the first whistleblower law in the history of the United States which was passed on July 30, 1778. In recent years, a growing number of federal agencies have celebrated National Whistleblower Day by informing employees of their whistleblower rights and by highlighting the critical role whistleblowers play in exposing fraud, corruption, and abuse of power.

A group of whistleblowers are leading a grassroots campaign calling for a permanent National Whistleblower Day. The whistleblowers are urging President Biden to sign an Executive Order permanently designating July 30 as National Whistleblower Day. The proposed Executive Order would require all federal agencies to educate employees about their whistleblower rights as well as celebrate whistleblowers who have made innumerable contributions in the past.

“Last year, our grassroots campaign gained a ton of momentum with thousands of letters sent to the President,” said Jane Turner, a FBI whistleblower and whistleblower advocate spearheading the campaign. “The American public clearly supports whistleblowers, and as our campaign continues to grow, we believe that the White House will take note and act.”

To support the campaign, the whistleblowers have launched a GoFundMe. They also encourage whistleblower supporters to join the campaign by signing the petition and amplifying the campaign’s message on social media.

Further Reading:

Senate Confirms Hampton Dellinger as Special Counsel of OSC

Make National Whistleblower Day Permanent 

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