July 30, National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, marks the anniversary of the passage of America’s first whistleblower law by the Continental Congress. In the midst of the Revolutionary War, American soldiers reported to the Continental Congress that their supervisor, an American Naval commander, was brutally torturing British soldiers. After the soldiers’ report of misconduct, the commander was dismissed. The Continental Congress, responding swiftly, unanimously enacted the first whistleblower legislation in the United States declaring that it was “the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof” to report misconduct or fraud.
Federal employees have embraced this obligation, sometimes at the risk of their careers and reputations. At GSA OIG, we know the value of disclosures that help root out fraud, waste, and abuse. Our work with whistleblowers saves taxpayer dollars, uncovers wrongdoing, and makes our country safer. We will continue working to protect the confidentiality of those who report wrongdoing and hold those who retaliate accountable.
If you have questions about rights and remedies as a federal employee who discloses fraud, waste, or abuse in GSA programs, please visit our website at www.gsaig.gov/whistleblower, or contact Kathleen Kohl, GSA OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator, at 202-273-7274. If you would like to report waste, fraud, or abuse in a GSA program, you may do so online at www.gsaig.gov/hotline.