Senator Carl Levin, D-MI, today praised passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and the perseverance of his colleague Daniel Akaka, D-HI, in leading passage of the bill through the House and Senate. The Senate approved the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act on Tuesday by unanimous consent, sending it to the president for signature. The act provides important additional protections to whistleblowers reporting waste, fraud and abuse at federal agencies.
"I am pleased that the House and Senate approved this important legislation enhancing protections for federal employees who report waste, fraud and abuse in their agencies," Levin said. "It has taken ten years for these commonsense protections to be enacted into law. I commend the hard work and dedication of my colleague Daniel Akaka for shepherding this important legislation into law."
The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 will:
clarify that any disclosure of gross waste or mismanagement, fraud, abuse, or illegal activity may be protected, but not disagreements over legitimate policy decisions;
suspend the sole jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals over federal employee whistleblower cases for two years;
extend Whistleblower Protection Act coverage and other non-discrimination and anti-retaliatory laws to all employees of the Transportation Security Administration;
clarify that whistleblowers may disclose evidence of censorship of scientific or technical information under the same standards that apply to disclosures of other kinds of waste, fraud, and abuse;
codify the anti-gag provision that has been part of every Transportation-Treasury Appropriations bill since 1988;
establish Whistleblower Protection Ombudsmen to educate agency personnel about whistleblower rights; and
provide the Office of Special Counsel with the independent right to file "friend of the court" briefs, or amicus briefs, with federal courts.