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July 30 is National Whistleblower Day

July 30, 2024 will be the 11th Annual Celebration of National Whistleblower Day, which celebrates the bravery of whistleblowers across the United States and their contributions to society, and to anticorruption efforts across the globe. A whistleblower is a person who is trying to hold an organization accountable by bringing issues that need attention and resolution forward, or someone who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity, often under fear of repercussion. National Whistleblower Day commemorates the nation’s first whistleblower law, which was unanimously signed into law during the height of the American Revolution on July 30th, 1778.  Every year since 2013, the Senate has unanimously recognized July 30th as National Whistleblower Day, now followed by a celebration held by the National Whistleblower Center on Capitol Hill.  

The National Whistleblower Center recounts the stories of famous whistleblowers, including Sherron Watkins (Time Person of the Year in 2002 who blew the whistle on Enron), Bradley Birkenfeld (UBS former banker awarded $104 million for his disclosures of IRS tax fraud), and Rebekah Jones (Florida scientist and COVID-19 whistleblower fired from the Florida Department of Health, allegedly for refusing to manipulate data).

In a recent survey of 3,000 adults throughout the US on Employee Perspectives on Whistleblowing, some key findings were:   

  • Split Opinion on Whistleblowing: 50% of employees surveyed would risk their careers to expose malpractice, while 50% would not.
  • Regional Variations: Willingness to whistleblow varied by state, with Arkansas having the highest rate at 83% and Idaho the lowest at 30%. Floridians were consistent with the national average – 48% would be prepared to risk their career to expose malpractice.
  • Legal Entitlements Awareness: Over half of the respondents (51%) are unaware of their legal rights as whistleblowers.
  • Silent Witnessing: Nearly one in five employees (19%) have observed unethical or illegal activities at work but chose not to report them.
  • Perceived Inadequacy of Employer Support: 30% of employees believe their company’s system for managing misconduct reports is insufficient.
  • Low Trust in Workplace Protection: Employees rated their trust in their company to protect whistleblowers at an average of only 4 out of 10. The recent Boeing whistleblowers are a good example of this, as several former employees have testified to the Senate that the company has retaliated against people speaking out against the company or raising concerns about current safety practices.   
  • Demand for Corporate Transparency: A vast majority (91%) of survey participants assert that companies should enhance transparency and support for whistleblowers.

As members of the Association of Inspectors General, the Clerk’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) prioritizes maintaining the confidentiality of whistleblowers to the extent possible.  Complaints by whistleblowers are specially coded and maintained, as required by the Association of Inspectors General, PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS FOR OFFICES OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REVISED & APPROVED OCTOBER 22, 2022, which states that an OIG should, “…provide for confidentiality of records and proceedings; identify qualifications for the inspector general and staff; protect the office’s independence; and provide protection to whistleblowers.”  Further, it specifies that the OIG, “should provide protections to complainants who, as a result of their complaints to the OIG, might be subject to retaliation by their employers.”

Further, the Clerk’s OIG follows the Florida Department of Law Enforcement-issued guidance for Inspector General offices, which requires a written directive to include:

  • Procedures for a documented review of each complaint submitted for whistle-blower determination,
  • Steps taken to ensure confidentiality,
  • Timeframes for addressing complaints, with exceptions justified and documented,
  • Notification to law enforcement agencies, when applicable,
  • Provisions for whistle-blowers to respond to the final report, and
  • Procedures for dissemination of the final report.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) provides a confidential hotline for employees, contractors and the public to report any of the following incidents:

Ethical Violations

Theft and Embezzlement


Conflict of Interest

Violation of Law

Internal Controls

Falsification of Contract Reports or Records

Falsification of Filed Records

Vandalism and Sabotage


Bribery and Kickbacks

Misuse of Company Property

Violation of Policies & Procedures

Employee or Contractor Misconduct

Concerns for a ward in a Collier County Guardianship case

Concerns about parties soliciting donations within Collier County

The public can reach the OIG via our Confidential Hotline at 1-844-253-7544 / 844-ClerkIG (Note: This third-party vendor is available 24/7 in English & Spanish),or call us directly at our local number at 239-252-8412.  You can also file a report online by clicking the “Report Fraud” button at CollierClerk.com.  We strive to maintain the confidentiality of calls, emails and other correspondence.

In support of National Whistleblower’s Day, the Clerk will have safety whistles for the public on Tuesday, July 30 at the Self-Help Center in the Courthouse Annex located at 3315 Tamiami Trail East.