Sign the petition to honor America’s first whistleblowers
On July 30th, 1778, the U.S. Continental Congress passed America’s first whistleblower law. The resolution’s words ring as true today, as they did when our Founding Fathers unanimously supported whistleblowers during the height of the American Revolution. The law was simple and clear:
‘‘Resolved, That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”
This law created an American credo supporting whistleblowers. Every branch of the U.S. Government must follow it. The actions taken by the Continental Congress supporting whistleblowers must be honored, remembered, and used to change the anti-whistleblower culture that infects many government agencies and major corporations.
In 2013 (and every year thereafter), the U.S. Senate took the first step toward making July 30th National Whistleblower Day and changing anti-whistleblower corporate culture. It passed the first of many resolutions declaring July 30th National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. In 2020 the Senate again unanimously passed the resolution, explicitly “encourage(ing)” “each executive agency to recognize National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” by:
“(A) informing employees, contractors working on behalf of United States taxpayers, and members of the public about the legal rights of citizens of the United States to blow the whistle; and (B) acknowledging the contributions of whistleblowers to combating waste, fraud, abuse, and violations of laws and regulations of the United States.”
Since 2013 only a handful of executive departments have followed this resolution, such as the DNI in 2019 and NASA in 2020. But the actions of these two agencies are the exception. The vast majority of the federal bureaucracy has remained silent and refused to acknowledge the importance of the July 30th resolution enacted by the Continental Congress. They have taken no action to acknowledge whistleblower contributions. Worse still, many of these agencies actively retaliate against whistleblowers.
The time has come for Congress to pass a law requiring all federal agencies to take the actions “urged” in the Senate resolutions. Whistleblowers must be honored, not vilified. Our government leaders must understand that the Founding Fathers, who risked their “lives, property and sacred honor” to create the United States, honored whistleblowers and were willing to take firm action, even in the middle of the War or Independence, to support whistleblowers.
We urge every person who supports whistleblowers to sign the petition calling for Congress to permanently designate July 30th as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day and require all federal agencies to take action on that day informing federal employees and American citizens how to lawfully blow the whistle, and celebrating the courage of those who have exposed waste, fraud, and corruption at considerable personal risk.
- Read the proposed bill to establish July 30th as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
- Learn the full history of America’s first whistleblower law, including columns published in the New York Times and The Hill explaining the importance of celebrating July 30th.
- Visit the National Whistleblower Day homepage.