Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass three bills to increase transparency and accountability in government. The reforms would protect the integrity of merit-based public service positions, increase support for whistleblowers, and prohibit paying for portraits of federal officers and employees with taxpayer dollars.
“I can’t believe these accountability measures aren’t already law, but I’m glad we took steps to ensure the federal government is working for the people we represent,” said Rep. Peters. “It’s not always easy to monitor fraud or abuse when there are different rules for every government agency and whistleblowers are often the first to call out wasteful spending or unethical practices.”
The Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act prohibits political appointees from accepting a career position in the federal civil service for two years after they leave their political posts. The bill also requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to approve each appointee’s transition to ensure their hiring is merit-based.
The Whistleblower Protection Extension Act creates a permanent program to educate federal employees about their right to report government waste, fraud, and abuse by requiring each inspector general office to have a dedicated official focused on educating and empowering whistleblowers.
The Eliminating Government-Funded Oil-Painting (EGO) Act of 2017 bans using taxpayer funds to pay for portraits for the President, Vice President, Cabinet members, and Members of Congress. A commissioned portrait can cost up to $40,000.