WASHINGTON, DC – A bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers is seeking a new review of the FBI’s whistleblower protection rules as well as reports of retaliation against whistleblowers from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) after the bureau’s and the Justice Department’s failure to implement new regulations to comply with more stringent protections enacted by Congress in 2016.
 
The request is signed by biparisan House Whistleblower Protection Caucus Co-Chair Jackie Speier (D-CA), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH), and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). 
 
“These extensive issues with the FBI’s current whistleblower program make the bureau one of the most difficult places in the federal government to report malfeasance. One [FBI] attorney…even reportedly told a prospective whistleblower that the FBI’s rules ‘do not guarantee that you will not be retaliated against…,” the lawmakers wrote.
 
The new statutory protections enacted in 2016 followed a previous, damning report on the weakness of FBI whistleblower protections and retaliation from GAO in 2015.
 
The group is seeking information on a broad set of questions ranging from the relative weakness of protections extended to FBI employees compared to counterparts across government to the use of security clearance revocation as retaliation to the appeals process for those who face retaliation.
 
Full text of the letter can be found below.