The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA),

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), which applies to many federal employees, was signed into law November 27, 2012.

Sec. 107 Authorized: (1) the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), in disciplinary actions, to require payment of reasonable attorney fees by the agency where the prevailing party is employed, or has applied for employment, if specified conditions apply; and (2) reasonable and foreseeable consequential and compensatory damages (including interest, reasonable expert witness fees, and costs) if MSPB orders corrective action.

Sec. 108 moved sole jurisdiction from the Federal Circuit for requiring that, during the two-year period beginning on the effective date of this Act, a petition to review a final order or decision of the MSPB that raises no challenge to the MSPB’s disposition of allegations of a prohibited personnel practice shall be filed in any court of appeals of competent jurisdiction.

Technical but important changes include defining disclosures that shall not be excluded from whistle blower protections and providing that substantial evidence may overcome the presumption regarding a public officer’s performance of a duty

A summary of all changes may be found in the Bill Summary & Status 112th Congress (2011 – 2012) S.743,  CRS Summary.

National security “defenses” and other “gaps” in the law remain unplugged.

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