Award Winning Attorneys
SEC Whistleblower Program
News & Insights
Last week, we provided an update on Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) efforts to strengthen the IRS Whistleblower Program and expedite the processing of IRS Whistleblower claims. Now, Senator Grassley – a longtime advocate for whistleblower rights – has announced a new plan to create a “Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus,” to “help bring attention to the need for ongoing whistleblower protections.” The Caucus, which Senator Grassley aims to launch in the next Congressional session, will focus on advocating for whistleblower rights and ensuring that existing legal protections for whistleblower are properly enforced.
Senator Grassley’s plan is crucial because, despite positive new initiatives like the SEC Whistleblower Program, whistleblowers remain an under-utilized law enforcement asset, which have huge potential to help numerous government agencies – from the SEC to the IRS to the FDA – uncover misconduct more quickly and efficiently. It may be a cliché but it’s true: knowledge is power. But, whistleblowing can only work as a law enforcement tool if individuals with information about wrongdoing are encouraged to come forward, and protected from retribution when they do blow the whistle. As Senator Grassley recognized, “the best protection for a whistleblower is a culture of understanding and respecting the right to blow the whistle.”
The SEC Whistleblower Program rules have already sought to develop this type of whistleblower-friendly culture by, among other things, allowing anonymous reporting and providing SEC whistleblowers with anti-retaliation employment protections. We hope that Senator Grassley’s new caucus will expand on these efforts and help other areas of the government leverage the power of whistleblowers to stop fraud, waste and other abuses.