Blow, whistleblowers, blow

  Continuing to emphasize openness at the Department of Energy, Secretary Hazel O'Leary proposed reforms Oct. 17 to protect whistleblowers. Employees who raise concerns about fraud or safety, for example, would be protected against retaliation and litigation costs related to lawsuits brought against them by contractors, and the agency would form a special department for employee concerns. "We have zero tolerance for reprisal," says O'Leary. "These are technically competent people who should be celebrated and brought back into the fold." For a copy of the new proposals or to submit comments, which are due by Dec. 2, write the Office of Contract Employee Protection, FM-40, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20585.

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