Inspector General Community Launches New Online Reporting Tool For Whistle Blowers

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FEDERAL NEWS NETWORK

“The new page, which CIGIE launched on National Whistle blower Appreciation Day, includes resources for whistle blowers about their rights, as well as a detailed walk-through of the process for reporting waste, fraud and abuse at individual agencies.

It also directs whistle blowers to the appropriate inspector general hotline — or the Office of Special Counsel’s disclosure unit and Government Accountability Office’s FraudNet portal.

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“Federal whistle blowers have a little more guidance and direction now from the inspector general community to report the waste, fraud and abuse they see at their agencies.

The Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) this week launched a new feature on Oversight.gov, the publicly searchable website of all reports and updates from agency inspectors general.

“What we tried to do over the past year or so was think about how we could deliver more information to insiders, to whistleblowers, to come forward [and] report to the IG community on waste, fraud, abuse and misconduct, so that we can help make government more effective and efficient and root out wrongdoing,” Michael Horowitz, Justice Department inspector general and CIGIE chairman, told a group of whistleblowers Tuesday at an annual celebratory lunch on Capitol Hill.

The idea is to get the word out to the federal workforce, Horowitz said, to inform whistleblowers about their rights and encourage them to come forward.

Securing the funding to develop the new whistleblower landing page was a challenge, Horowitz said. Sen. James Lankford, former chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, championed the funding for this project in the fiscal 2019 spending omnibus, Horowitz said.

“The inspectors general and the whistleblowers and the folks who are actually engaged in this ongoing work… are the ones making the difference,” Lankford said. “We’re just trying to facilitate that communication and to make sure that everyone both knows that this is not legal behavior or sees it and has the opportunity to say, ‘where would I go to be able to report this?’”

The current site is a “beta” test, CIGIE hopes to the build out the site further with additional resources, Horowitz said. The next steps, however, are dependent on whether the council can secure new appropriations from Congress.

“We’re looking for you to tell us what else we can do to build that site out,” he said.”

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