Washington, D.C. July 28, 2017. Members of Congress and agency leaders honored whistleblowers at yesterday’s National Whistleblower Day Celebration. The event was hosted by the National Whistleblower Center, the nation’s leading whistleblower advocacy group. Strong bipartisan support for whistleblowers was apparent from both Members of Congress and the agency leader in attendance.
The celebration provided an opportunity for Members of Congress, agency leaders, whistleblower advocates and the whistleblower community to recognize whistleblowers, who risk their careers and reputations by reporting waste, fraud, and abuse to the proper authorities to promote accountability, integrity, honesty, fairness, and transparency. It was also an opportunity to discuss the work that needs to be done to ensure whistleblowers are adequately incentivized and protected.
Federal News Radio’s Nicole Ogrysko published a recap of the event here: On National Whistleblower Day, Congress applauds those who speak truth to power (Audio). (Text here)
National Whistleblower Day commemorates the passage of the first whistleblower law, a resolution signed unanimously by the Continental Congress in 1778. National Whistleblower Center Executive Director and author Stephen M. Kohn uncovered this law during research. “The Founding Fathers got it right. Whistleblowers who provide information to the appropriate authorities must be protected. The Founding Fathers passed a law and allocated funds to protect the first whistleblowers, we expect our current Congress to do the same,” Kohn said.
Keynote speakers included:
Members of Congress: Chair and Vice Chair of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Co-Chairs of the House Whistleblower Protection Caucus, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Rod Blum (R-IA) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Agency Leaders: Lee Martin—Director of the IRS Office of the Whistleblower, Michael Horrowitz—Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice, Henry Kerner presidential nominee for U.S. Special Counsel, and John Cruden—former Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Whistleblowers: Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins, UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, Army Corps of Engineers whistleblower Dr. Toni Savage, and FBI whistleblower Dr. Fred Whitehurst, among others.