Federal Whistleblowers – A Partnership to Protect
FEDS Protection and the Whistleblowers of America are proud to announce a new partnership to educate the federal community about whistleblowing. In many instances, employees do not consciously think of themselves as a whistleblower or engaged in protected activity when reporting what he or she believes to be mismanagement, abuse, waste or fraud to a supervisor. Moreover, supervisors often don’t recognize this as “whistleblowing” or as a “protected activity” which requires a continuous process improvement response. Instead it becomes adversarial, leaving the supervisor vulnerable to complaints of whistleblower retaliation. “This disconnect or lack of awareness can stretch far and wide embroiling entire offices in a disruptive and adversarial environment”, said Tony Vergnetti, the President and Founder of FEDS Protection. FEDS Protection provides professional liability insurance which is unique because it provides coverage for exposures only federal employees face. “We deal with real people, every single day, at all levels of government, who are just trying to do the very best in their mission to serve our country. Unfortunately, employees and managers alike are often blindsided by the disruption these matters can cause. We at FEDS believe that education and respect is key.”
Civil servants who are engaged in whistleblowing activity aren’t generally lauded as heroes or patriots, at least initially. They are very often ostracized as troublemakers. Jacqueline Garrick, the founder of Whistleblowers of America, never considered herself a whistleblower when she made the decision to report what she perceived to be a conflict of interest over the suicide prevention funds and contracts at the Department of Defense. This decision took her on a journey she never expected. “I never thought of myself as a whistleblower, nor did I have any idea that my desire to right a wrong would be so life altering”, adding, “the stigma and retaliation is unbelievably overwhelming. I founded the Whistleblowers of America because I know, firsthand, that if you choose to speak up, you need evidence, and a strong and solid foundation of support as you could be facing the hardest fought years of your life, both professionally and personally.”
It is the mission of both FEDS Protection and the Whistleblowers of America to protect federal employees at all levels and their fierce determination to do so is strengthened by their desire to educate the federal community together.
“FEDS Protection was founded on a platform of education”, says Tony Vergnetti,” and “our partnership with Jackie and the Whistleblowers of America further this important interest for the entire federal community as new threats, increased workloads, new technology and political demands grow.”
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