Congressional oversight

 John Kostyack is the executive director of the  National Whistleblower Center

A national conversation is underway about whether the President’s actions on the Ukraine matter warrant impeachment – a question on which the National Whistleblower Center does not take a position. However, an equally robust conversation needs to happen on a related question: how to respond to the President’s hostile actions toward the Ukraine whistleblowers.

Our view is that the President’s actions are very likely violating laws prohibiting intimidation of witnesses and reprisals against whistleblowers. Moreover, he is failing to uphold his duty to enforce the anti-reprisal law. Regardless of how Congress proceeds on the impeachment inquiry, it must forcefully assert itself here. Congress needs whistleblowers to perform its constitutional oversight role and otherwise ensure implementation of the laws it passes. To defend its role in our system of checks and balances, Congress must insist that the President reverse course.

Continue Reading It’s time for Congress to fulfill its constitutional oversight role and protect whistleblowers

NOTE: Tune into the Federal News Network for a discussion on the importance of whistleblower protection taped on Friday August 23. Host Debra Roth sits down with Tom Devine, Legal Director of the Government Accountability Project; John Kostyack, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center; and Liz Hempowicz, Director of Public Policy at the Project on Government Oversight.”


Congressional investigators say they’ve been trying to get some answers about problems at the Coast Guard Academy for more than a year.

Finally, staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Homeland Security met with the Coast Guard Academy Dean Kurt Colella last week. He brought along the assistant academy superintendent, the Coast Guard’s House liaison, the agency’s chief of congressional affairs and the director of personnel readiness, according to committee members.

Apparently, none of them had much to say. Here’s how the meeting was described in a letter from lawmakers to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl L. Schultz.

“Coast Guard officials indicated that pursuant to your orders, all of the Coast Guard personnel who were present at the meeting were directed to refuse to answer any questions regarding any past events at the Academy involving either faculty or cadets,  including any questions pertaining to the OIG’s report,” wrote Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) chair of the oversight committee and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) of the homeland security committee.    
Continue Reading Congress wants better answers from Coast Guard Academy on racism, whistleblower retaliation