The Whistleblower Protection Act Essay
The Whistleblower Protection Act
The Whistleblower Protection Act was designed to provide legal safety measures to individuals occupying positions in the federal government who reveal questionable and unlawful operations within the government agencies. The Act thus shelters the employee that has disclosed the information so that he will remain protected from any biased actions that may be executed by his superiors in that particular government agency. This protection is a special precautionary measure that is well compensated in order to maintain the employee status of truthfully reporting the illegal activities that should be investigated by the government.
The Whistleblower Protection Act was drafted to include four approaches to activate protection as a whistleblower. Firstly, the employee who wishes to disclose a questionable operation of another member of the government agency may file an appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board of his particular agency. Another approach may be to request for the protection from the special counsel of the government agency.
Protection may also be requested through the appeal for individual protection per se. An employee may also request for whistleblower protection through grievance procedures, wherein the employee reports the grievances and hardships he experiences after he discloses information regarding the illegal operations that he has observed within the government agency.
The Whistleblower Protection Act was carefully designed so that not every employee that reports an incident will be immediately protected based on the features of the Act. Such careful implementation of the protection act was established because it is important that only deserving individuals are provided with the protection that is needed and not all individuals who express their “concern” over an activity will be safeguarded from any associated reactions that may be given by the employee that is being reported (Wilmot, 2000).
The Whistleblower Protection Act is therefore established to proceed initially with an investigation regarding the disclosure that was submitted by an employee. In addition, the disclosure should be properly endorsed by the head of the office where the employee is working for. Should this endorsement be absent, the Whistleblower Protection Act will not be implemented.
The present Whistleblower Protection Act is thus available to all federal employees, both those in active duty and those who have retired or resigned, and even those employees who are in the higher positions. A few positions in the federal government, such as those involved in making agency policies, are not covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act, as well as those employees working at the postal office and the Central Intelligence Agency. The employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are also not provided with the features of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
A revelation that is presented by an employee should be evaluated to be of substantial information that is well-proven to positively violate the laws and policies of the government agency. Any violation may be associated with the wrongful management of the government agency or a substantial squandering of government funds. In addition, any misuse of an official of his powers over the government agency may also be considered as disclosed information by which may activate the Whistleblower Protection Act and be implemented to protect the employee that has disclosed the violation.
Other issues that are deemed worthy of activating the protection act may include any information that may cause harm to the general public, such as safety and sickness. Once the disclosure has been submitted by the concerned employee to his supervisor, this report should be submitted to the head of the government agency. As soon as this disclosure report is submitted to the head of the government agency, the Whistleblower Protection Act should be discussed with the employee who has reported the violation of another employee. The features of the protection act should be comprehensively explained so that the employee will understand how the protection act works.
The Whistleblower Protection Act was also designed in order to amend an earlier act which was known as the Civil Service Reform Act. The amendment was based on the modification of the term disclosure in the older reform act and this was replaced by the newer protection act that pertains to any type of report so that employees may have the liberty to report any misuse and abuse of authority within the government agency. The protection act was also devised to prevent any forms of hindrance that would inhibit the employee from his disclosure of the information he knows with regards to the illegal activities that he observes within the government agency.
There are only a very few cases wherein the Whistleblower Protection Act was not provided to an employee who, after thorough investigation by the appropriate review of the government agency, has discovered that the disclosure that the employee was submitting was based on his goal of acquiring personal gain and benefit. It is thus important that a meticulous and detailed investigation of the disclosure be performed first before any other measure is performed. Should the review committee find that the disclosure of the employee does not serve any beneficial purpose but for the employee’s personal gain alone, subsequent actions and the corresponding implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Act will not be exercised.
The Whistleblower Protection Act has also experienced a few issues with regards to the technicalities of its design and implementation. One of the most reviewed and discussed technical issue about the protection act is the phrase “any disclosure.” The word “any” was intentionally included in the definitions of the protection act in order to include all forms of reports and does not prematurely filter any disclosures and this has been designed in order to collect as much reports as may be submitted.
The selection and review of the reports are thus handled by the review committee which is mandated to thoroughly study all reports and disclosures that are submitted to them. The main basis for identification of a valuable disclosure that is submitted by an employee is the fact that the disclosure shows equitable certainty that a mismanagement or abuse of authority or operation is occurring within the government agency.
Equitable certainty of the disclosed information is mainly based on the good faith that is shown by the employee reporting the incident. The Whistleblower Protection Act is also designed wherein an employee may report to any of his superior officials within the government agency, allowing freedom for the employee to report the information he carries with trust and confidentiality.
It should be understood that the Whistleblower Protection Act will only be implemented if the employee is reporting a specific gross mismanagement or misuse of authority by another individual in the government agency. Should the review committee find that the employee is only disclosing an insignificant amount of questionable activities, the review committee will then provide ample time for the employee to gather more information about the other employee being reported and at the same time will monitor the actions being executed by the employee being reported.
Should there be a new additional report regarding the questionable employee, the disclosing employee will immediately be given protection from any probable harm that he may experience during his occupation at the government agency. The information being disclosed will also be made confidential within the government agency because this secured information will affect the condition of the employee within his workplace (White, 2006).
Protection to the employee may include the prevention of any actions that are associated with his position, including any reassignment to another office, termination and even promotion to a higher position. Such changes in the position of the employee who has disclosed any information on the mismanagement or misuse of another employee is thus unlawful and should be protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act.
White SM (2006): Confidentiality, ‘no blame culture’ and whistleblowing, non-physician practice and accountability. Best Pract. Res. Clin. Anaesthesiol. 20(4):525-43.
Wilmot S (2000): Nurses and whistleblowing: The ethical issues. J. Adv. Nurs. 32(5):1051-7.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 March 2017
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