Changes Needed To The Whistleblower Statute – Contact your Representative

February 9, 2009

whistleBy John Newcomer:

With waste and greed rampant these days, important changes are needed to beef up the Federal False Claims Act, also referred to as the Whistleblower Act. Citizens who learn of fraud against the government and come forward to report it are often referred to as whistleblowers.  These whistleblowers, often employees at the companies suspected of the fraud, have helped to recover billions of dollars for taxpayers over the years.

Last year both the Senate and the House moved through committee a bill that would have greatly expanded the Federal False Claims Act, which is also referred to as the Whistleblower Act. The Act has been around since Abraham Lincoln to expose fraud against the U.S. Government. In 2006 and 2007 the Federal government collected more than $5 billion from companies and individuals that had defrauded it.

Notwithstanding that the Congressional Budge Office, CBO, estimated that additional money would be collected as a result of the proposed 2007 amendment the bills were successfully killed by industry.

The proposed changes would:

1. Allow Government employees to bring the action

2. Allow anyone to use public information to bring the action.

3. Eliminate the need to plead fraud with exacting detail.

4. Expand damages beyond loss to the Treasury.

5. Expand the Act to include claims in any situation where government money is used.

6. Expand the Statute of Limitations to 10 years.

These changes will encourage citizens to come forward and report fraud and abuse, and have money wrongfully taken from the taxpayer returned to the government.  If CBO estimates are correct isn’t it important to have taxpayer money returned to the Government rather than allowing the bad guys to keep it.

If you support theses changes please contact your Representative and urge them to re-introduce bill S. 2041 in the Senate and H.R. 4854 in the House. You can email you Senator by using this site and you Representative by using this site.

Together we can make a difference. It is time that we stand up for what is right and fight back against greed and corruption.