This bill would expand protections for employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who report instances of waste, fraud, and abuse up the chain of command. It would also streamline the process for investigating incidents of retaliation against whistleblowers.
If an FBI employee or an applicant for a position at the Bureau files a whistleblower complaint with the Office of the Inspector General, up their direct chain of command, or to other designated entities they would be explicitly protected from being targeted for retaliation. The legislation would also make it easier to identify retaliation against whistleblowers by defining the types of personnel actions that constitute retaliation.
The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General would be given the sole authority to investigate claims of retaliation against whistleblowers. Administrative judges would be tasked with hearing the cases, thus giving FBI employees the ability to appeal to the federal courts.
Under current law, FBI employees are exempt from the Whistleblower Protection Act, meaning that they’re required to report whistleblower complaints to specific offices rather than up their chain of command.