Press Release

May 10, 2012
Bill To Protect Federal Employees Passes Senate by Unanimous Consent

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today praised the Senate for passing the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, S. 743, a landmark bill that would expand protections for federal employees who disclose wrongdoing and protect the public trust.

“Federal workers are on the frontlines and they often are the first to spot when there is fraud or waste of taxpayer money.  This bill will help ensure greater accountability and it will protect whistleblowers from retribution for doing the right thing.” said Senator Cardin, a co-sponsor of the bill.

S. 743 will modernize the government whistleblower law by ensuring legitimate disclosures of wrongdoing will be protected, increasing government accountability to taxpayers, and saving billions of taxpayer dollars by helping expose fraud, waste and abuse. It also will restore and expand free speech rights, specifically covering national security and intelligence community workers, federal scientists, and Transportation Security Administration officers.

The bill also will strengthen failed procedures; close loopholes; create efficiencies; and affirm lawful disclosures. For the first time, some federal whistleblowers would have a real “day in court,” since the bill provides access to a jury trial in federal district court.

In the House, a companion bill passed the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in November, but awaits a vote by the full House.