On April 21st, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) sent letters to dozens of executive offices and agencies urging them to implement educational programming centered around National Whistleblower Day on July 30th this year.
National Whistleblower Day is celebrated on the anniversary of the first U.S. whistleblower law, passed unanimously by Congress on July 30th, 1778. In the 243 years since Congress first passed this legislation, whistleblowers have played a critical role in preserving American democracy and the rule of law – often at tremendous personal cost.
The United States Senate has unanimously recognized July 30th as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day each year since 2013. Their resolution requires each executive agency to recognize National Whistleblower 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 public health and safety and other violations of law.
In recent years, the Department of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, the Office of the Special Counsel, and the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency have hosted or participated in programming commemorating National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
“National Whistleblower Day has seen support from some federal agencies in the past few years. However, we would like to see more widespread participation from the federal government in acknowledging the importance of whistleblowers,” said NWC’s Interim Executive Director, Mary Jane Wilmoth. In its letters to the federal agencies, NWC offered its support in developing and providing educational resources and digital promotion of events.
NWC also sent a letter to President Biden asking him to issue an Executive Order recognizing July 30th as ‘National Whistleblower Appreciation Day and requiring all executive offices and agencies to educate employees about their legal rights and the importance of whistleblowers. The letter notes: “Issuing an Executive Order that acknowledges the importance of whistleblowing could change the culture of retaliation against whistleblowers that persists today.”
NWC has also issued an Action Alert urging both houses of Congress to pass a resolution recognizing National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
In addition to its federal advocacy work, NWC will hold its annual celebration of National Whistleblower Day on July 30th. This year’s celebration will be an all-day virtual event featuring a wide range of speeches from whistleblowers, policymakers, and advocates, as well as a series of panels on pressing whistleblower issues. The public can learn more about the NWC’s event at https://www.nationalwhistleblowerday.org/.