For too long, efforts to silence those who speak uncomfortable truths have succeeded. More than one-third of federal workers recently said they were less likely to make whistleblowing disclosures because they fear retaliation that threatens their careers, livelihood and even their safety. The administration should show their support for those who speak out when they witness wrongdoing, reaffirming the value of whistleblower disclosures, strengthening government programs to protect employees who make such disclosures, and protecting whistleblowers. It can accomplish these objectives through better educating government employees of their rights, better vetting presidential appointees to ensure a commitment to whistleblowing, and improved efforts to ensure compliance by ensuring policies and practices are consistent with the law and adequately hold retaliators accountable.

Principle 9: Whistleblowers play a critical role in constitutional checks and balances and exposing executive branch abuses; therefore, they must have meaningful channels to make disclosures and solid protections from retaliation.