Protect Whistleblowers & POGO Sign Petition
June 24, 2014
Disgracefully, the Inspector General (IG) of the VA subpoenaed POGO earlier this week for all of the information it has received through its tips system that, for the past month, has been located at VAoversight.org. (Do not use this website anymore. The new SecureDrop page is located here.). POGO has said “Since the website went live, about 700 people have submitted tips or aired grievances. About 25 percent of those tips have come from current or former VA staffers.”
Letter from POGO with links to sign the petition:
The Inspector General at the Department of Veterans Affairs gave us until last Friday to turn over the names of whistleblowers who had contacted us about mismanagement at the VA. As I told you in my last email, we will not reveal our sources.
Many VA staffers who have come to us say they fear retaliation if their identities are revealed. Protecting whistleblowers has been at the core of POGO’s mission for 33 years.
POGO is a strong supporter of the Inspector General system. We believe IGs provide critical oversight, which promotes accountability and saves taxpayer money. We even offered to brief Acting Veterans Affairs IG Richard Griffin on our findings, with the condition that we wouldn’t reveal the names of our sources. However, Acting IG Griffin’s subsequent demand for our records violates POGO’s First Amendment freedoms of speech, press and association.
If the VA IG can demand POGO’s records – one that amounts to little more than a fishing expedition – where does the government draw the line? What keeps the IG from grabbing the records of individuals or other organizations, such as CNN, the New York Times or the Washington Post, all of which are involved in similar confidential investigations with whistleblowers?
We are waiting for the IG’s next move. We sincerely hope Acting IG Griffin will realize that this subpoena is misguided. Please help us make sure he gets the message by clicking the link below.
Get involved today!