Whistleblowers in Government: Administrative Ethics As Seen Through the Constitution, Legislation, and Case Law I picked this topic because my master’s is in public administration and this topic tied this class really well into my master’s.
Whistleblowers in Government: Administrative Ethics As Seen Through the Constitution, Legislation, and Case Law Susan South Jurisprudence December 4, 2008
Employee chooses to expose illegal, unethical, or fraudulent practices within the organization
Range in severity
Leaking the information to the police, media, or appropriate authorities
Personal ethical code
Prior experiences and rationale
Intention – to explore the act of whistleblowing, the motivation behind it, and its effects on government as seen in theoretical concepts of discretion, whistle blowing legislation, as well as an evaluation of administrative ethics principles
Evaluate strengths and weaknesses
Make recommendations for future legislation and administrative reforms of managing whistle blowing in government
Famous Whistleblowers Joseph C. Wilson Valerie Plame Case Mark Felt Deep Throat Linda Tripp Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal
Someone whose actions are meant to protect others not themselves, looking first towards the framework within the organization to find a means to rectify the situation, and holding the proof any person with reasonable understanding could be convinced (Alford 2001)
Increased protection from retaliation for federal whistleblowers
Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 – No FEAR Act
Established guidelines for federal agencies to disseminate notice of the Act to federal employees, former employees, and applicants for employment.
Agencies must post certain statistical data on the agency website to show current and past actions brought against the agency based on the No FEAR Act.
Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007 – WPEA
Amended the WPA 1989
Expanded whistleblower protections to “certain national security, government contractor, and science-based agency whistleblowers,” as well as augmenting current whistleblower protections for all federal civil servants (Whitaker 2007)
Two-prong test to decide when a public employee was protected by the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech over matters of “public concern” (Sasser 2007)
Is the matter up for public concern?
If yes, the Court would have to balance the interests of the government representative as a citizen to speak out versus the ability of the agency to effectively manage the office and ensure strong harmonious working relationships (Drachler 2008)
More than understanding the differences between right and wrong.
The act of doing right or wrong
Often difficult to identify a meaning
Subjective to the individual
Determined through discretion
Administrative discretion – public administrator’s capacity to employ ethical approaches relevant to the situation, in order to decide among various alternative solutions that arise while working in the organization
All public employees have a duty to uphold the Constitution, abide by specific legislation with regard to Supreme Court decisions
Whistleblowers can fulfill this obligation to the public by understanding the ethical process as it relates to him or her, using guerrilla government when necessary, and acting always in the good of the people, not for selfish gain or ignorant bliss
Alford, C. Fred. (2001). Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power . Ithaca: Cornell.
Alford, C. Fred. (2001). Whistleblowers and the Narrative of Ethics. Journal of Social Philosophy , 32(3), 402-418. Retrieved October 2, 2008 from Blackwell-Synergy
Drachsler, David A. (2008). Public Employee Whistleblowers After Garcetti v. Ceballos. Labor Law Journal, 59(2 ), 201-208. Retrieved September 15, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database.
deLeon, Peter. (2005). Cowboys and the New Public Management. In Ethics in Public Management , ed. H. George Frederickson and Richard K. Ghere, 206. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Ventriss, Curtis and Shane M. Barney. (2003). The Making of a Whistleblower and the Importance of Ethical Autonomy: James F. Alderson. Public Integrity , (5) 4, 355-368. Retrieved on October 2, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. Thorpe 2007, 461
Fisher, Louis. (2005). “National Security Whistleblowers.” CRS Report for Congress by Federation of American Scientists. (December 30, 2005). Congressional Research Service publications. Retrieved on November 2, 2008, from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33215.pdf
Fong, Bruce D. (1991). Whistleblower Protection and the Office of Special Counsel: The Development of Reprisal Law in the 1980s. American University Law Review, 20 . Retrieved on September 15, 2008, from LexisNexis Academic.
Jokic, Aleksandar. (2002). Supererogation and Moral Luck: Two Problems for Kant, One Solution. Journal of Value Inquiry , 36(2-3), 221-33. Retrieved November 2, 2008 from ABI/INFORM Global database.
Kennedy, Caroline. (2005) United States Constitution: What It Says, What It Means: A Hip Pocket Guide . New York: Oxford Press.
O’Leary, Rosemary. 2006. The Ethics of Dissent: Managing Guerrilla Government . Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Rohr, John. (1998). Public Service, Ethics, and Constitutional Practice . Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press.
Rohr, John, Chandler, Ralph Clark. (1984). Civil Servants and Second-Class Citizens/Response/Discussion. Public Administration Review: Special Issue 44(135) Retrieved on November 2, 2008 from ABI/INFORM Global database.
Sasser, Jamie. (2007). The Silenced Citizens: The Post-Garcetti Landscape for Public Sector Employees Working in National Security. University of Richmond Law Review, 41 . Retrieved on September 15, 2008, from LexisNexis Academic.
Thorpe, Lucas. (2006). The Point of Studying Ethics According to Kant. Journal of Value Inquiry , 40(4), 461. Retrieved November 2, 2008 from ABI/INFORM Global database.
United States Department of State: Office of Attorney recruitment and Management. (2006)
No Fear Act . Retrieved on November 2, 2008, from http://www.state.gov/s/ocr/rls/76101.htm
United States Department of Treasury. (2008). No FEAR Act . Retrieved on November 2, 2008,
From http:// www.ustreas.gov/nofearact /
United States Government Printing Office. (2002) Notification and Federal Employee
Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 . Retrieved on November 2, 2008, from http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname =107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ174.pdf
United States Office of Special Counsel. (2002). The Role of the U.S. Office of Special Council .
Retrieved on September 13, 2008, from http:// www.osc.gov/documents/pubs/oscrole.pdf
Whitaker, L. Paige. (2007). CRS Report for Congress by Federation of American Scientists.
(March 12, 2007). The Whistleblower Protection Act: An Overview . Congressional Research Service publications. Retrieved on September 13, 2008, from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33918.pdf Waxman 2007
Wenell, Julie A. (2007). Garcetti v. Ceballos: Stifling the First Amendment in the Public Workplace. William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 16 . Retrieved on September 15, 2008, from LexisNexis Academic.