Mayor Jim Kenney signed the Whistleblower Executive Order 9-17 into law two years ago to protect City employees who report misconduct in City government.
What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person—in this case, a City employee—who reports misconduct or wrongdoing. This can include misuse of taxpayer dollars.
Fun fact: The term whistleblower comes from sports. The act of whistleblowing is like a referee blowing a whistle for a foul—alerting people that something illegal or unethical is happening.
Why is this important?
The executive order helps to maintain an honest government that the public can trust to deliver effective and efficient services. Residents provide the City with their tax dollars; it’s the duty of City employees to handle them responsibly.
While all City employees are encouraged to report any concerns, many stay silent for fear of retaliation. The executive order ensures that misconduct can be corrected while City employees remain protected from retaliation.
Retaliation is any negative employment action that is a direct result of making a report. This could be dismissal, suspension, reassignment, or other negative actions.
How do I report wrongdoing in government?
City employees can anonymously report any concerns of possible wrongdoing to their supervisor or directly to the Office of the Inspector General by calling (215) 686-1770 or filling out the online complaint form.
Reports are strictly confidential. Sharing your name and contact information can help speed up the OIG’s investigation process and allows them to ask follow-up questions to help with the investigation, but it is not required.
How do I report retaliation?
If a City employee decides to file a report, it is possible that the person or people they’ve reported can figure out who blew the whistle. As a result, the employee could experience difficulties in the workplace.
Even though the Office of the Inspector General will take intense care and precautions to ensure that your identity remains confidential, the person under investigation may connect the dots on their own, even in cases of an anonymous report.
If you believe that you are experiencing retaliation after filing a report with the OIG, please contact the OIG immediately (215-686-1770, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The OIG will walk you through the process of how to report retaliation to make sure that individuals who are violating your rights are held accountable, and negative actions against you are corrected as quickly as possible.
We know that speaking up about misconduct isn’t easy. But City employees are entrusted with the public’s resources and should be held accountable if they use those resources improperly.
The Whistleblower Executive Order provides protection for those employees who take the extra step and do the right thing.
In other words, it’s got the whistleblower’s back.