A MEASURED ANALYSIS OF THE WHISTLEBLOWER PROVISIONS OF THE 2015 FAST ACT (FIXING AMERICA’S SURFACE TRANSPORTATION ACT)

Open Access
Author:
Love, Eric D
Area of Honors:
Labor and Employment Relations
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Paul Whitehead , Thesis Supervisor
  • Stan Gully, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Whistleblower
  • Whistleblowing
  • FAST ACT
  • Statutes
  • regulatory enforcement
Abstract:
In recent years, whistleblowers have become an important tool in the regulatory apparatus to combat fraud. Statutes designed to combat fraud that include whistleblower provisions are often reactionary, being enacted in response to major fraud scandals that gain public attention. Similarly, scholarship on whistleblower statutes has been reactionary, with much of the work being done in this field focused on critical reviews of singular whistleblower statutes. These analyses have provided insight into which of various mechanisms within a given whistleblower statute contribute to the failure or success of that statute. However, this singular approach has made it difficult to take the insights learned from any one law and apply them more generally to other whistleblower statutes. This paper seeks to synthesize the lessons gained from these works in order to develop a framework that encompasses the collective knowledge of the field on various mechanisms found in whistleblower statutes. The framework developed in this paper will focus on how regulators can employ the best mechanisms to encourage individuals to blow the whistle, and this paper will first create the framework based on lessons from the literature. The paper will then put that framework to the test by analyzing the whistleblower provisions in the newly enacted Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST). By comparing the best mechanisms of the framework against those included within the whistleblower provisions of The FAST Act, this paper will predict how each mechanism may contribute to the ability of the FAST Act to root out and remedy practices dangerous to the public.