Commentary: America will always need whistleblowersgrrrrrrr.
By SCOTT BLOCH
January 29, 2007
Today, we hear of wasteful government bureaucracies, bloated hand-out programs, unheralded pork and corrupt self-dealing. While there is some truth in this, media overcoverage of such matters distracts us from focusing on solutions.
Solutions lie with ordinary Americans. When we see something wrong, we need to blow the whistle. The recent election was a great example of how Americans can blow the whistle on what they see as wrong among their elected officials, or wrong about behavior or policy direction. Regardless of perspective, no one can doubt that our system is functioning.
The Office of Special Counsel is an agency dedicated to whistleblowers and to rooting out waste and corruption. Within the federal bureaucracy, we bring officials who have done wrong to justice. Although we are little known, OSC was recently a “Jeopardy’’ topic with the answer, “What is a whistleblower?”
A whistleblower is an ordinary hero who helps America function when it wants to slip into self-interest and faction. I get to reward ordinary heroes who report waste, fraud and abuse.
Such disclosures, as we call whistleblower allegations, range from the mundane to the sensational.
Last year, our oversight committee in Congress wrote a letter reflecting the results of a bipartisan audit that revealed we were doing a “great job for whistleblowers.” This letter and testimonials to our work on behalf of federal servicemembers, whistleblowers, and complainants of all varieties can be found on our Web site, www.osc.gov, under “OSC achievements.”
America needs to know that many in government are helping to recover billions of dollars for the taxpayer by preventing fraud. The community of inspectors general with whom I am proud to work is doing amazing things every day. I can attest that the majority of public servants are dedicated to trying to make a difference. Sometimes, one will discover that something is amiss and blow the whistle. That is when the oversight apparatus must come in to right the balance.
Is it easy doing these things? No, but it is far less easy for whistleblowers themselves. Their history is one of being singled out and reprised against. It goes back far in mankind’s history, to Sophocles who wrote, “Nobody likes the man who brings bad news.”
But whether in government or in corporate America, we depend on ordinary heroes. We have to listen, we have to shift gears, we have to be willing to change.
Some whistleblowers are saintly, others are self-interested. But we protect them all regardless of the purity of their motives, because checks and balances require us to commit ourselves to rooting out wrongdoing and wastefulness.
Too many say government is not working. It is true that government is not the answer to all problems, but it is not wrong for citizens to demand accountability in the structures by which they have consented to be governed. While difficulties remain, we can be proud that much is right with our system as it roots out waste, inefficiency and illegality.
America, wake up, and blow the whistle on the false image of us as hopeless and corrupt. Blow the whistle on the media when it will not tell us about the good that is happening to correct problems. Be an ordinary hero by blowing the whistle on those who violate the public charge or waste public funds or use public office for private gain.
You can blow the whistle simply by continuing to vote. Realize that in blowing the whistle, you take on the mantle of citizenship.
You are part of the checks and balances of which Alexander Hamilton wrote nearly 250 years ago.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
America will always need whistleblowers
The Horrible Scott Bloch (Office of Special Counsel) wrote this piecashit.
Posted by lukery at 2/01/2007 01:07:00 PM