Oversight Committee Passes Blum and Cummings Bipartisan Whistleblower Advocacy Bill
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform passed H.R. 4043, the Whistleblower Protection Extension Act of 2017. This move opens the bill up for future consideration on the House floor.
Joined by his colleague, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Committee, Rep. Rod Blum introduced H.R. 4043 on October 12, 2017. This bipartisan legislation will repeal the sunset provision that would otherwise terminate the whistleblower ombudsman program. The ombudsman program directs agency inspectors general to designate an ombudsman to educate agency employees about whistleblower protections and remedies for retaliation.
During the committee hearing, Rep. Blum spoke in favor of H.R. 4043, “As members on both sides of the aisle have made it clear at our Committee, whistleblowers are indispensable in making the federal government work more efficiently. However, too many federal employees remain unaware of the legal framework that Congress puts in place to protect whistleblowers after they come forward. With the ombudsman program, agency employees have been more empowered to make whistleblower claims. The empowerment ultimately benefits the country as a whole and makes the federal government more efficient.”
“No matter how strong we make our whistleblower protection laws, they will not work if whistleblowers cannot figure out how to use them,” Cummings said. “This bill would ensure that whistleblowers have an independent lifeline in the Office of the Inspector General to help guide them through the process.”
Read the full text of the bill here.