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House of Representatives Adopts Whistleblower and Ethics Reforms for Itself

POGO: “The House of Representatives has new rules for itself that will foster stronger accountability and ethics, and protect whistleblowers.  At the beginning of each legislative session, Congress adopts rules that cover everything from voting procedures to the names of committees to who is admitted into the halls of Congress to dress codes for Members. While appearing mundane, the process of how Congress legislates and conducts oversight can either foster or thwart those trying to have their voices heard. Congressional ethics and conflict-of-interest standards are also defined by these rules. For the 116th Congress, which started this month, the House of Representatives agreed to a package of new rules that include key reforms supported by POGO. Most notably, the House established its first Office of the Whistleblower Ombudsman. The office is tasked with developing “best practices for whistleblower intake for offices of the House” and providing “trainings for offices of the House on whistleblower intake.” Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) led efforts to create the office, which the Make It Safe Coalition (POGO is a member of the coalition’s steering committee) also advocated for. The new office is intended to help Congress work more effectively with individuals coming forward to disclose key information on waste, fraud, and abuse…”

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