Kathryn Bolkovac

Kathryn Bolkovac has raised concerns over the ‘’ Whistleblower Improvement Act ‘’ by joining the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) in advocating for the safeguard of the rights and protections of whistleblowers. POGO, an independent nonprofit organization investigating federal government conduct, has strongly criticized the proposed legislation and its consequences for corporation liability and accountability as well as safeguards for whistleblowers. In a letter addressed to her local Representative, Bolkovac, former employee of the private security contractor DynCorp International for the International Police Task Force in Bosnia (and whose story inspired the blockbuster "The Whistleblower"), expressed her concerns about the consequences of the bill on the protection program currently in place for whistleblowers in the United States. 

The ''Whistleblower Improvement Act'' was initially sponsored by the U.S. Congressman Michael Grimm. If passed, it will lead to an amendment of the ‘‘Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’’, the financial and corporate regulatory measures adopted last year. The new legislation would result in major changes; for example, whistleblowers would be required to report violations initally to their employer, through an internal compliance mechanism, instead of directly addressing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Such an amendment could seriously undermine the whistleblower's ability to report violations for fear of reprisals and retaliation by the employer. In addition, the proposed bill determines that whistleblowers who are guilty of wrong-doing may not be eligible for a financial reward. This important assurance for whistleblowers, and incentive to come forward with allegations of fraud and criminal activity, could then be undermined. According to Bolkovac's campaign letter, the ''Whistleblower Improvement Act'' will dissuade potential whistleblowers from reporting fraud and corporate crimininal activities.

In December 2011, the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprise approved the proposed amendments. The bill will next be reviewed by the Financial Services Committee. Supporters of the proposed legislation and its sponsor Rep. Michael Grimm assure that it will help the SEC deal with whistleblowers' allegations more efficiently. According to a press release published in July 2011 by  Rep. Michael Grimm's office, ''The overreaching provisions in Dodd-Frank make these internal programs obsolete, open the floodgates of claims to an already overburdened SEC, and delay action on escalating crimes within a company.'' Hence the need for new legislation.

Despite Republican and the financial industry's support for the new legislation, Kathryn Bolkovac firmly believes the ''Whistleblower Improvement Act'' will have harmful consequences, and she expressed her doubts about the bill by sending POGO's campaign letter to her local congress. In the letter, Bolkovac transcribed POGO's clear message: ''Wrapping these destructive policies in the guise of protecting whistleblowers is a cruel joke to all the whistleblowers who risk their careers and livelihoods to report wrongdoing and save investors billions of dollars. This bill would push back important and hard-won whistleblower protections and make it easier for institutions to defraud investors, taxpayers and the government."