Gaithersburg Council Unanimously Approves Whistleblower Ordinance
New city policies regarding the reporting of improper or illegal acts, among others, will take effect after 20 days.
The city of Gaithersburg mayor and City Council unanimously passed the Whistleblower Ordinance at Monday evening's Council meeting.
The ordinance, officially entitled “Reporting of Improper or Illegal Acts,” is designed to provide a confidential environment for employees and others to make good faith reports of actions by city officials and employees who are believed to be involved in improper or illegal activities, according to the city.
It establishes a procedure for the thorough investigation of reports of improper actions and reassures citizens and employees that they will be protected from retaliation for in-good-faith reporting, the city said. To ensure impartiality, an outside firm will be hired to field reports.
Residents also are encouraged to report improper acts by city officials, employees and board, commission and committee members. An informational brochure with instructions on what might constitute an improper or illegal action and how to report such an incident is being developed.
The Whistleblower Ordinance was developed in part by a focus group in summer 2012. The focus group — consisting of 10 city employees — began meeting in April to research whistleblower policies, draft amendments to the city's Personnel Rules & Regulations Manual and create a program for the reporting of illegal actions in municipal government.
Previous Whistleblower Ordinance Coverage:
- Mayor, Council Updated on Developments of Whistleblower Focus Group (Aug. 14, 2012)
- On The Agenda: Mayor, Council To Introduce Whistleblower Ordinance (Oct. 15, 2012)
- On The Agenda: Whistleblower Ordinance Public Hearing (Nov. 19, 2012)