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Whistleblower Law Blog

DOJ Report Recommends New Protection for FBI Whistleblowers; and DOJ Implements Recommendations

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The Department of Justice recently released recommendations from a report by the Attorney General that reviewed protections for FBI whistleblowers. The DOJ has already begun implementing the recommendations and will implement additional changes over time. Specifically, the report proposes the following changes:

– Provide voluntary alternative dispute resolution in FBI whistleblower cases
– Award compensatory damages for retaliation
– Expand the list of persons to whom a protected disclosure may be made
– Report findings of wrongdoing to the appropriate authority
– Provide authority to sanction violators of protective orders
– Expedite the OARM process through the use of acknowledgement and show cause orders
– Equalize access to witnesses
– Expand resources for OARM to reduce the time needed to adjudicate FBI whistleblower cases
– Publish decisions with appropriate redactions
– Publish annual reports to be submitted to the President

Senators Grassley and Wyden, who initially inquired about the Attorney General’s report in August 2014, have generally endorsed the new FBI whistleblower protection recommendations and are optimistic that the recommendations will provide better protection for whistleblowers. The recommendations and changes reflect a need to pay special attention to whistleblowers who have access to classified information and to ensure that they are protected under the law.

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