April 30,2009
President Barack Obama
The White House
West Wing
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20502
 
Dear Mr. President,
 
We are writing to bring your attention to and encourage swift action 
on the issue of whistleblower protection for federal employees. 
Whistleblowers are our nation's best resource against fraud and abuse 
of the public trust. Over the years, whistleblowers have repeatedly 
sounded the alarm about fiscal practices that waste tax dollars. In 
the national security realm, whistleblowers have effectively and 
responsibly called attention to security vulnerabilities that 
threaten the lives of U.S. citizens. Moreover, they have worked to 
prevent violations of the constitutional values we all share.
 
In these uncertain economic times, we should encourage courageous 
public servants to continue to report evidence of misconduct on 
behalf of American taxpayers and families. Unfortunately, we cannot 
expect government employees to continue to sacrifice their careers 
and risk their own families' security without signals from your
Administration that they will be protected.
 
As you may know, "legal" victories for employees who have been 
retaliated against for blowing the whistle are almost non-existent. 
We encourage you to support congressional efforts to reform the 
inadequate system of whistleblower protections, such as H.R. 1507, 
introduced this year by Representatives Van Hollen and Platts.
 
In addition to these forward-looking reforms, we encourage you to 
take action to restore the careers of employees who were wrongly 
terminated or marginalized by previous administrations after blowing 
the whistle. Specifically, we recommend the issuance of an Executive 
Order establishing a program to review individual cases, and where 
significant injustice has occurred, to make the employee whole by 
restoring them to government service. The country can undoubtedly 
benefit from the professionalism and expertise of many of the 
employees who were wrongly removed from federal service.
 
While we recognize there will need to be significant fine-tuning of 
this proposal, we recommend the principles endorsed in a letter sent 
to your office on January 16,2009 by the following relevant 
organizations including: The American Federation of Government 
Employees, The Bill of Rights Foundation, The Government 
Accountability Project, The National Taxpayers Union, The National 
Whistleblower Center, Openthegovernment.org, The Project on 
Government Oversight, The Public Employees for Environmental 
Responsibility and The Whistleblower Mentoring Project.
 
This would send a strong signal that there will be zero tolerance for 
whistleblower retaliation in your Administration. In addition, it 
would go a long way in complementing your already-announced Freedom 
of Information Act reforms toward establishing a new, global gold 
standard for accountability and transparency in government.
 
We thank you for considering our suggestions, and look forward to 
working with you on these reforms.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
Member of Congress
 
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN
Member of Congress
 
EDOLPHUS TOWNS
Member of Congress
 
KEN CALVERT
Member of Congress
 
TODD RUSSELL PLATTS
Member of Congress
 
BRUCE BRALEY
Member of Congress
 
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
Member of Congress
 
Advertisements