Senate Judiciary Committee Unanimously Approves S.2390 FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act
Washington, D.C. April 7, 2016. Today the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, a bi-partisan bill designed to protect FBI whistleblowers. The bill, introduced by Committee Chair Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, will reform current FBI whistleblower protections by providing compensatory damages for whistleblowers, expanding the scope of protected activity, ending bureaucratic delays in processing cases, and allowing for case review by independent administrative law judges.
The need for reform was documented in a January 2015 report, issued by the Government Accountability Office, which detailed the FBI’s consistent failure to protect whistleblowers within the Bureau, as well as lengthy delays and severe shortcomings in the Department of Justice’s enforcement of whistleblower protections. Following the report, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on March 4th, 2015 to examine the deficiencies in the whistleblower protections at the FBI. Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, testified before the Committee regarding the need for this legislation. Kohn has represented high profile FBI whistleblowers since 1993, and noted that the bill:
“…is a major step forward for protecting the rights of all Americans from abuses within the most powerful law enforcement agency in the United States. Whistleblowers within the FBI have exposed thousands of illegal national security searches, systemic weaknesses in the counterterrorism program, civil rights abuses, and the FBI’s role in numerous wrongful convictions of innocent Americans. These whistleblowers must be protected. The Senate bill will greatly enhance the ability of FBI agents to report wrongdoing and ensure that the FBI protects all Americans from violations of their constitutional rights.”
- Contact Information
- Mary Jane Wilmoth
- Program Director
- National Whistleblower Center
- (1) 202 342-1903
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