12 Days of Open Government Resolutions – Day 10: Protect Whistleblowers

Each post in the series of posts we plan to publish between now and December 25 focuses on a resolution the Obama Administration realistically can use to make the federal government more open and accountable in the coming year. See below for links to previous resolutions.

Open Government Resolution 10 for the Obama Administration – Protect people who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, abuse and illegality in the federal government

The brave men and women who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, abuse and illegality in the federal government should be honored, not persecuted and prosecuted. President Obama should order all government managers and supervisors to encourage, honor, and protect whistleblowing. The order should make clear that the President has a zero-tolerance policy for suppression of and retaliation against whistleblowers. It should require training for both managers and employees on the new rights and remedies created by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, the Presidential Policy Directive, and other pre-existing whistleblower protections. The order also must direct the government to not sacrifice the rights of federal workers while protecting legitimate secrets to prevent harm to our national defense.

The Administration should also ensure the proper implementation of the recently-released Presidential Policy Directive Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information. The policy must have strong due process procedures and enforcement. To ensure a robust implementation and the most effective policies, the administration should work closely with the whistleblower advocacy community.

12 Days of Open Government Resolutions for the Obama Administration:

Resolution 1: Begin gathering public input for Version 2 of the US National Action Plan

Resolution 2: Make it easier for the public to track agencies’ open government work

Resolution 3: Encourage Agencies to Join FOIAOnline

Resolution 4: Direct Agencies to Update their FOIA Regulations

Resolution 5: Direct agencies to make all Reports to Congress and Communications with Members of Congress available in a central location on the agency website

Resolution 6: Direct all agencies that collect electronic visitor records to make them available to the public in an easy-to-search and downloadable format

Resolution 7: Direct agencies to make enough information available so that the public can have an informed opinion of what is "high-value" data

Resolution 8: Set up the White House-led classification Steering Committee recommended in the PIDB report

Resolution 9: Release the number of cases cut off from the courts by the use of the states secret privilege that were referred to agency IGs

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