Cummings Hails Signing of Whistleblower Legislation
Washington, DC (Nov. 27, 2012)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, joined other Members of the House and Senate in the Oval Office as President Obama signed into law the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, which significantly expands protections for federal employees who disclose waste, fraud, and abuse.
“Today marks a major achievement in our near decade-long efforts to strengthen protections for whistleblowers who risk their careers to challenge abuses of power and the mismanagement of government resources,” said Cummings. “Although the bill does not go as far as I would like, this legislation is critical to making government work more effectively and efficiently and to rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse.”
The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 protects lawful disclosures of waste, fraud, and abuse, correcting court decisions that narrowed the scope of protected disclosures and impeded efforts to protect all whistleblowers. It also gives whistleblower protections to Transportation Security Administration employees, which will encourage the disclosure of issues that otherwise could threaten the safety of airports.
Similar legislation, the Platts-Van Hollen Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011, was passed unanimously by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on November 3, 2011.
Cummings, who has been a proponent of expanding protections for federal whistleblowers for years, also praised the work of numerous open government organizations that fought for this legislation, including the Government Accountability Project, the Project on Government Oversight, the American Federation of Government Employees, the National Treasury Employees Union, the Liberty Coalition, the National Taxpayers Union, Public Citizen, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
President Barack Obama signs S. 743, the Whistleblower Protection and Enhancement Act (WPEA), in the Oval Office, Nov. 27, 2012. Standing behind the President, from left, are: John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management; Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii; Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Rep. Todd Platts, R-Pa.; Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.; Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; and Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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