Cummings Applauds Committee Adoption of “Platts-Van Hollen Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011”
Washington, DC – Today, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously passed H.R. 3289, the “Platts-Van Hollen Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011.”
“This bill will significantly expand the protections available to government whistleblowers who risk their careers to challenge abuses of power and the mismanagement of government resources,” said Ranking Member Elijah Cummings. “This journey has been long and frustrating for advocates of whistleblower protections who have been trying for nearly a decade to get a strong bill enacted.”
The bill has been endorsed by over a dozen open government organizations, and it addresses a host of gaps in the protections afforded to federal whistleblowers today, including:
- Protecting federal employees for making lawful disclosures of government waste, fraud or abuse.
- Providing federal employees with court access to challenge unlawful retaliation in certain cases.
- Ensuring that Transportation Security Officers receive full protection.
- Extending limited whistleblower protections to employees in the intelligence and national security communities.
- Clarifying protections for government scientists.
At Cummings’s urging, the bill also contains a pilot program that will afford whistleblower protections to civilian agency contractor employees.
The Committee adopted by unanimous consent a motion by Cummings to name the bill after Congressmen Todd Platts and Chris Van Hollen, who have been at the forefront of efforts to protect whistleblowers for the past decade.
“Over many years, Congressmen Todd Platts and Chris Van Hollen have diligently championed this legislation, and they have worked behind the scenes to find a truly bipartisan way forward,” Cummings said. “I am thrilled that the Committee has honored their dedication to this legislation.”
Read a letter of support from the American Federation of Government Employees, the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the Liberty Coalition, the National Taxpayers Union, OpenTheGovernment.com, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.