Bill to protect gov’t whistleblowers is introduced in House

Posted on Nov 12 2021


Rep. Leila Staffler (D-Saipan) has introduced a bill to enact a whistleblower protection provision for government employees who report prohibited personnel practices.

In a press statement yesterday, Staffler said her House Bill 22-83 is a response “to the years and numerous reports of retaliation and intimidation reported by constituents who work in the CNMI government.”

The bill’s co-sponsors include House Speaker Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), floor leader Ralph Yumul (R-Saipan), and Reps. Ed Propst (D-Saipan), Tina Sablan (D-Saipan), Sheila Babauta (D-Saipan), Celina Babauta (D-Saipan), Denita Yangetmai (D-Saipan), Corina Magofna (D-Saipan), Vicente Camacho (D-Saipan), Donald Manglona (Ind-Saipan), and Richard Lizama (D-Saipan).

Leila Staffler


“Through this legislation, my colleagues and I in the House leadership aim to raise the bar in public service employment and send a clear message that political retaliation and intimidation in our government is unacceptable,” Staffler said.  

She said people should be able to report wrongdoing in government without fear of reprisal or retribution. “House Bill 22-83 protects government employees who do the right thing, such as reporting waste, fraud, abuse, corruption or dangers to public health and safety to someone who is in a position to uphold accountability,” she added.

House Bill 22-83 expands existing whistleblower protections in Commonwealth law for the reporting of financial crimes, to include the reporting of unethical or illegal activity in government, such as coercion to participate in political activity,  transferring as a form of punishment, implementing blanket non-disclosure agreements, and obstructing a person’s right to compete for employment. 

The bill further expands civil penalties to those in government who are in supervisory roles who engage in prohibited personnel activities. Any person found in violation shall be liable to pay civil penalties ranging from $1000 to $10,000, and shall be terminated immediately. 

Moreover, although Commonwealth law currently provides compensation incentives for those who report fraud, waste, or abuse in the collection or expenditure of public funds, there is no actual mechanism for payment. House Bill 22-83 fixes that issue, by providing that mechanism so that government whistleblowers may receive their rewards. 

The full text of the bill is available at or This bill has been assigned to the Judicial and Governmental Operations Committee for review, and public comments may be submitted to JGO Committee chair Rep. Celina Babauta at or delivered to her office at the CNMI Legislature on Capital Hill. (PR/Saipan Tribune)

Press Release
News under Press Release are official statements issued to Saipan Tribune giving information on a particular matter.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.