Local Whistleblower Programs Faulted as Failures

In San Francisco, no data exist on whether the city controller's whistleblower protection program for municipal employees works, reports Dan Noyes for KGO-TV.  In San Diego, a civic activist has had to sue to determine how the city auditor has performed in investigating and closing complaints from a whistleblower hotline, with a first hearing held on May 6 and a second set for next month. And in Sonoma County, the grand jury has concluded that owing to the very multiplicity of local programs operating without coordination, "for those trying to expose waste, fraud and abuse in government, the path can be torturous. Whistleblowers must contact one agency after another, and in the process, they can lose both their anonymity and faith in any follow-up," reports Brett Wilkison in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Added to all these shortcomings is the fact that apparently none of these local programs—or even those at the state level—track and publicly report whether whistleblowers whose reports they have received are still in their jobs a year after having reporting, and if not, why not. For most employees trying to decide whether or not to blow the whistle, those data would presumably be the first to be consulted in making such a risky career decision.

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