Expanded Intel Whistleblower Bill Headed to the President

Cindy Lee/Shutterstock.com

President Obama on Thursday received the fiscal 2014 Intelligence Authorization bill, which contains expanded protections for intelligence community whistleblowers.

The House, as expected, approved the bill Tuesday by voice vote. Senators had approved it on June 12 and Obama is considered likely to sign it. The measure would expand and codify available rights for whistleblowers that Obama laid out in October 2012 presidential policy directive 19.

Advocacy groups were pleased, but spoke of future improvements still needed. “Too often, federal workers who witness wrongdoing don’t speak up out of fear of risking their reputations, losing their jobs or worse,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight. “This legislation will encourage them to speak up about wrongdoing and help us to root out government corruption in the most secretive and unaccountable parts of government.”

Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project, said, “Congress deserves credit for landmark legislation creating enforceable whistleblower rights within intelligence agencies and protections against security clearance retaliation throughout the civil service….While not a final solution, it is the breakthrough shift to challenge abuses of power and corruption by intelligence agencies without risking threats to national security.”

Both groups assert that the final bill still lacks statutory protections for contract employees who blow the whistle. Devine called upon the House Select Intelligence Committee to give up on previous opposition to allowing intelligence contractors “best practice” whistleblower protections, which were in effect from 2007 to 2012, when the House panel negotiated their removal.

The official whistleblower ombudsman for the intelligence community, Dan Meyer, has argued that contractors do fall under the community’s general protections.

(Image via Cindy Lee/Shutterstock.com)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.