Thursday, March 5, 2015

Testimony on Improving FBI Whistleblower Protections

Former FBI agent and Brennan Center Fellow Michael German testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about how current Justice Department guidelines fail to protect whistleblowers from retaliation by the FBI. The hearing follows the release of a Government Accountability Office report that finds that the Justice Department regulations and procedures for investigating and adjudicating FBI whistleblower claims are inadequate and need to be reformed.

German left the FBI after a 16-year career when FBI managers and the Inspector General failed to protect him from retaliation for internally reporting a mismanaged terrorism investigation. His testimony lays out concrete steps Congress can take to reform whistleblower protections in the future.

“Today, FBI whistleblowers have little chance of being heard, much less receiving timely relief from reprisals, or corrective action to make them whole. The Justice Department regulations function more as a trap for the unwary rather than a shield of protection,” German said. “But the door is now open for Congress to enact legislation that would codify reforms that will finally provide the protections that the hard-working and conscientious FBI employees deserve.”

Read the testimony [PDF]


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