Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011 S. 743/H.R. 3289

Of course, we are going to protect our “whistleblowers”, how else are we going to rein in the spending? We need them to provide the targets for us to shine the light of truth and transparency on.

S.743 Sponsor: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI]
Introduced 4/6/2011 Cosponsors (14)
Latest Major Action: 10/19/2011 Senate committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Ordered to be reported with an amendment favorably

Related Bills: H.R.3289 Sponsor: Issa, Darrell (CA-49)
Introduced 11/1/2011 Cosponsors (5)

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2011 – Expands the scope of whistleblower protections under federal law to provide that such protections shall apply to a disclosure of any violation of any law, rule, or regulation (currently, only to a violation of any law, rule, or regulation). Defines “disclosure” for purposes of this Act and expands the types of disclosures that are protected whistleblower disclosures.

Includes as a prohibited personnel practice the implementation or enforcement of any nondisclosure policy, form, or agreement that does not contain a specific statement that its provisions are consistent with requirements that preserve the right of federal employees to make disclosures of illegality, waste, fraud, abuse, or public health or safety threats.

Adds the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Reconnaissance Office to the list of intelligence community entities excluded from coverage under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.

Revises the standard of proof in disciplinary proceedings against an agency employee who takes an adverse personnel action against a whistleblower to require the Office of Special Counsel to show that the whistleblower’s protected disclosure was a significant motivating factor in the decision to take an adverse action, even if other factors also motivated the decision.

Requires that, during the five-year period beginning on the effective date of this Act, a petition to review a final order or decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) that raises no challenge to the MSPB’s disposition of allegations of a prohibited personnel practice be filed in any court of appeals of competent jurisdiction (rather than exclusively in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals).

Extends whistleblower and other anti-discrimination protections to employees (and applicants for employment) of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Extends whistleblower protections to any current or prospective federal employee for disclosures that such employee reasonably believes are evidence of censorship related to research, analysis, or technical information.

Extemds whistleblower protections to intelligence community elements, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Reconnaissance Office.

Requires federal agency heads to advise their employees on how to make a lawful disclosure of information that is required to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs.

Amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 to: (1) allow federal agency employees who intend to report a complaint or information with respect to an urgent concern to Congress to report such complaint or information to the Inspector General of their agencies, and (2) provide for the appointment of a Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman in the Office of Inspector General to educate agency personnel about whistleblower rights.

Amends the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 to require: (1) the development of policies and procedures that permit individuals who, in good faith, challenge a security clearance determination to remain employed while the challenge is pending; and (2) the development and implementation of uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure protections during the process for denying, suspending, or revoking a security clearance or access to classified information.

Prohibits the revocation of a security clearance or access determination in retaliation for a protected whistleblower disclosure.

Amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 to provide for the direct transmission of a complaint or information under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act to the Director of National Intelligence if the head of an establishment (i.e., cabinet level agency or department) determines that such complaint or information would create a conflict of interest for such head.

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