From MSPB Watch, an insight into the WPEA:

WPEA under the Spotlight: Disclosure of Scientific Censorship


WPEA under the Spotlight is a new running feature that will explore the provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, currently being debated in Congress. This entry covers the disclosure of scientific censorship section of Senate Committee Report No. 112-155, which accompanies S. 743RS.


M. Disclosures of scientific censorship

The Committee has heard concerns that federal employees may be discouraged from, or retaliated against for, disclosing evidence of unlawful or otherwise improper censorship of research, analysis, and other technical information related to scientific research. Although disclosures of such censorship may be protected as a disclosure of a legal violation or of an abuse of authority under the WPA, uncertainty on this specific issue may cause confusion and inhibit disclosure. It is essential that Congress and the public receive accurate data and findings from federal researchers and analysts to inform lawmaking and other public policy decisions.

In order to encourage the reporting of improper censorship, section 110 of S.743 would specifically protect employees who disclose information that the employees reasonably believe is evidence of scientific or technical censorship that may cause gross government waste or mismanagement, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or that violates the law. This definition of protected disclosures is nearly identical to the general definition of protected disclosures that do not relate to censorship. This is intended to make unmistakably clear that employees are protected for disclosing scientific censorship in the same manner as they are protected for making any other disclosure.

Section by Section Analysis

Section 110—Disclosure of Censorship Related to Research, Analysis, or Technical Information

This section clarifies that an employee is protected from reprisal under the WPA for disclosing information that an employee reasonably believes is evidence of censorship related to research, analysis, or technical information that is or will cause gross government waste or mismanagement, an abuse of authority, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or any violation of law.