Whistleblower Improvement Act is Anything But

Posted on July 29, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Talk about an oxymoron. The erroneously named Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011, introduced last week by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), would gut key components of Dodd-Frank financial reform law making it much more difficult to uncover corporate wrongdoing.

Clearly, what Grimm and his three Republican co-sponsors of the bill see as being an “improvement”, in actuality, creates an atmosphere where those with knowledge of corporate misconduct will be extremely reluctant to divulge what they know. The proposed bill requires employees to first report suspicions of potential misconduct through a company’s internal reporting system. In essence an employee has to go to those he or she suspects of breaking the law or engaging in questionable conduct with those allegations of wrongdoing. If that’s not a disincentive I don’t know what is.

However, according to Grimm, the law only seeks to preserve the integrity of a company’s internal reporting system. The problem with that line of thinking is if a company is operating with a lack of integrity, requiring an employee to report his or her suspicions to company officials leaves the whistleblower in an extremely compromised position.

Opposing the Grimm bill, the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, wrote that the bill was an “extreme approach that would silence would-be whistleblowers, endanger critical inside informants, undermine investigations, hamstring enforcement at the (Securities and Exchange Commission) and (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), and provide law-breaking financial firms with an escape hatch from accountability.”

Despite Grimm’s claim that his bill will “restore balance to the whistleblower system,” it will only make it that much more difficult to uncover and address corporate misconduct.

C.Z.T.

Turner GPA is one of the premier, highly respected government and public affairs firms in the nation. Turner’s state-of-the-art advocacy has earned them respect and acclaim from the media, clients, policymakers and even their competitors! Turner advocates on behalf of cutting edge businesses, municipalities, and non-profits that wish to ensure their perspectives and needs are taken into account in Washington, in state capitols and in City Hall, as well as in the media. The firm creates and implements intensely focused and targeted advocacy campaigns designed to meet and exceed its client’s expectations and goals. For more information on Turner GPA, visit http://www.turnergpa.com or call 202-466-2511.

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