Federal Daily News

Committee OKs extension of whistleblower pilot program

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week approved a three-year extension of a pilot program contained in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act that allows federal whistleblower appeals to be made outside of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Without the legislation—the All Circuit Review Extension Act (H.R. 4197)—the program will expire in November 2014.

“This bill extends an important provision enacted in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act that allows whistleblowers to file appeals where they live rather than being limited to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals,” said the committee's ranking member, Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who introduced the measure.

Cummings said the Federal Circuit has "an abysmal track record in whistleblower cases.”

The committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), also supports the legislation.

“The pilot program established by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act gives whistleblowers an opportunity to appeal their cases outside of the Federal Circuit," Issa said. "However, only three appeals have been heard outside of the Federal Circuit and the program expires soon. This bill will extend the pilot program for three additional years, giving us more time to gauge the impact of an ‘all circuit’ review.”



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