"The Obama administration put a temporary stop to new federal contracts with British oil company BP on Wednesday, citing the company's 'lack of business integrity' and criminal proceedings stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The action by the Environmental Protection Administration won't affect current contracts, but prevents BP and its affiliates from new government contracts 'until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards,' the agency said."
Laws & Regulations
President Obama on November 27, 2012, signed into law a bill beefing up previously flimsy protections for federal employee whistleblowers who disclose waste, fraud, and abuse. The legislation was supported by good-government watchdog groups.
"Citing gross negligence and what it called the company's profits-first culture, the federal government on Thursday announced it had entered into a settlement with BP of all criminal claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, fining the company a record $4.5 billion and securing 11 felony pleas from the company for the 11 people killed in the April 2010 blast."
Various news organizations are reporting that Thursday may see announcement of a plea deal between BP and the Justice Department in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill. They say BP will plead guilty to criminal misconduct and pay a record criminal fine.
Whistleblowers are key sources for investigative journalists. The bill, approved by unanimous consent in the House and Senate, was hailed by watchdog groups Government Accountability Project and Project on Government Oversight, who had fought for its passage.
In September, South Dakota meat processor Beef Products, Inc., had sued ABC, some of its anchors and correspondents, and a USDA microbiologist under South Dakota law for reporting on the controversial meat filler. The company said it would oppose the October 31st motion to dismiss.
Watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility's new guide to state whistleblower laws starts with a map — click on any state to link to its whistleblower law and other related info. Federally, there is currently a bill in play in Congress which would strengthen the notoriously weak federal whistleblower protections.