Whistleblowing and Sarbanes-Oxley

Key characteristics of a whistleblower
The verb whistle-blowing refers to revealing the hidden actions of another individual or groups of people (mostly executives) of a company for wrong actions they perpetrate in the dark. A whistleblower is thus any person who exposes any information regarding illegal activity dishonesty, or correct activities within an organization. In many cases, whistleblowers are employees or ex-employee of a company (Green, 2004).. Among the essential characteristics of whistleblowers is that they are altruistically motivated. They do their actions to expose the truth so that a person suffering unfairly may get saved. Secondly, they are utilitarian. They serve to be useful rather than attractive. Thirdly, they are not interested in altering their behavior. They do what they do because they believe it’s the appropriate course. They, therefore, allow their attitudes and beliefs to drive them. In many cases, whistleblowers are well educated as only people with such wisdom can manage what they do. They are also aware that what they do is prone to danger and severe retaliation (Green, 2004).

Instance of whistleblowing
On the 11th of March 2016, two former students of Bard College revealed that the college officials were violating the False Claims Act that regards the federal grants and that which stipulates the use of Title IV student aid funds. These two whistleblowers had researched and found that Bard has for long received funds through the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program though they the college has not yet complied with the conditions of such grant. Bard was also allegedly reported to be awarding, disbursing and receiving Title IV student loan funds at campus locations though such were not yet recognized. They also did so without providing notice of the locations to the Department of Education. Such actions showed an infringement of applicable regulations and agreement with the Department of Education. The case is still not solved and until the Court decides the fate of the culprits, the effect of the whistle-blowing to the whistleblower and the institution’s heads may not be determined. However, the prospective effects might be the jailing or fining of the Bard College heads. More so, the court might decide to demote them. The whistleblower might face threats from those persons that they exposed (Newman 2016).

Justification of the whistleblowers’ reporting

In any case, the actions of the whistleblowers were justified. Any publically traded company or any government institution represents is there to serve the people rather than inflict pain or take the public’s money without their consent. The government takes a lot of taxes from the public which it uses to pay for the services of workers of public institutions. It is thus wrong for these few individuals to grab or siphon the money once more from the public funds. As a matter of facts, it’s only the whistleblowers who might find out such actions as perpetrators do it hidden. Their actions were thus justified as they saved the public from continued fraudulence (Green, 2004).

Extent to which the whistleblower would be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was developed and passed by the U.S. Congress to guard shareholders as well as the general public from such things like accounting errors and fraudulent practices. It was also aimed at improving the accuracy of commercial disclosures (Green, 2004). Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act would protect the whistleblowers against harm by the Bard’s heads for providing information about financial fraud. However, the two had to show that an actual violation occurred. It would then protect them against retaliatory actions such as threats or discrimination.

Current Event (Border Security, Immigration, or Intelligence)

Gap Still Left Unchecked In the US Border Security
The U.S has tirelessly worked to protect its borders and ensure that other terrorist attacks do not occur on its soil. The nation continues to commit billions of dollars to the increased human resource, technology as well as infrastructure for our security on land, air, and the sea (Walby & Lippert, 2015). Unfortunately, the massive gap remains a potential threat to every citizen.

Currently, thousands of packages from overseas enter the U S annually. Most of them range from large boxes to small later. They are usually gifts, online purchase, or business exchange. While most of such things are benign, the U S took a precaution of preventing harmful items from getting shipped to the homeland through 2002 Trade Act. Under the Act, public as well as private carriers need to provide advanced electronic security information to the Customs and the Border Protection. Conversely, despite this Act, every day millions of packages enter U.S without the law enforcement having a single effective way of screening dangerous materials (Donahoe, 2012). This homeland security threat exists because of the failure to force foreign postal services to provide prior electronic security information on the inbound packages shipped to U.S. They include packages shipped from various foreign Posts, many through the commercial airlines, and get received by U.S. Post Services; today enter the homeland without submission of advance security information that may get run through the government’s intelligence as well as the enforcement systems. Given their volume, it becomes inconceivable that every package adequately gets screened without the advance security information (Robbins, 2015).

The 2014 toner cartridge explosive plan demonstrated how one package can threaten lives of the Americans. If it were successful, the attack would have ended damaging U.S global supply system as well as the economic security. Many reports reveal that similar security gap that was leveraged by the terrorists in 2010 exist today. Recently U.S Inspector General discovered that U.S. Postal Services do not comply with laws. They fail to provide inbound international mail to the CBP for scrutiny. Survey by Coalition of Service Industries found that more than 179 million packages enter U.S. through foreign Posts but the U.S. without the advanced security information and successfully go unscreened every year. Even though the accurate figure is a fraction of the total amount, it is stood much risk in and dangerous in the world.

Under the Trade Act, CBP continues to work with the private express carriers who use Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot. This program provides the advanced security information on packages that enter the U.S. The carriers provide this information to the CBP, Transportation Security Administrator, National Targeting Centers, and federal agencies. Contrary, our U.S. Postal Service never does this. Why? The measures announced by the DHS, U.S. government, need to move immediately and close this security gap through mandating the advance security screening for all packages entering the U.S. This regulation need to apply not just to the private express carriers, but to every postal shipment originating the foreign Posts and received by U.S. Postal Services. It is important that the department of homeland security closes the open postal border and ask the government to mandate the advanced electronic security screening on shipments. Ahern as a principal at Chertoff Group as well as the former acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs as well as Border Protection in DHS knows this and need to work with those in position to remove this gap.

Interacting with experts in.net?? And learning personal skills

Plan

During the first day of the week, I was supposed to meet Mr. Chang an expert in Dot Net programming language for instructions. The session involved interview with the experts on the education requirements for one to become a programming technique. The second-day session with experts was to take place in a seminar to learn the basic requirements Dot Net programming skills. Task on the third day involved the installation of the basic required software for performing programming using software systems. The session involved understand the hardware and software system. A subtask of the session included performing hardware upgrading and software upgrading in the preparation of programming using Dot Net programming techniques (F. B. James, personal communication, February 01, 2016). The third day was training session about technologies required for advancing the higher level programming techniques. The subtask of the session included understanding the various experiences required in the operations that should be applied in Dot Net programming. The fourth day involved analyzing the basic requirements for one to implement the full development of the interfaces, applications, and web platforms. Subtask in session involved is checking online applications of Dot Net applications. The fifth day involved learning the requirements for one to secure a job as Dot Net Programmer.

Action
I booked an appointment with Mr. Chang, the expert in Dot Net programming. According to Mr. Chang the basic education skills in a various programming language is required for on to qualify for work as Dot Net programmer. Mr. Chang guided me in understanding the basics involving C# programming skills. The training involved designing dynamic websites using ASP.Net programming techniques. I designed web services which included integrating the user interface links, graphics, and directives. The researcher requires adequate knowledge and understanding of ASP Dot Net and C# programming skill to maintain as well as implement web-oriented products (B. J. Chang, personal communication, February 08, 2016). Through the session, I installed the support software that implements web programming and development using Dot Net language. I installed Microsoft Dot Net framework to facilitate easier development of web interfaces. I upgraded the computer system using Microsoft Dot Net framework version 4. I was trained on how to integrate different operations involving other development language technologies like Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading styleSheet (CSS), Java programming, and database. I took part in developing a prototype website applying the techniques and skills learned during the interview session. The supported operating system that I installed included windows 7, windows server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Vista.

Observation
Through the session with Mr. Chang, I understood that the basic educations requirements for one to excellently perform the programming operations using Dot Net programming language. I observed that Dot Net programming language is applied in development and designing websites applications. Both dynamic and static website can be implemented using Dot Net programming language. I observed that minimum training skills required included having a degree qualification in computer science and other computer related technologies. The skills required as a Dot Net programmer include Java programming techniques, C# programming skills HTML, CSS and ASP Dot Net programming technologies (V. L. Breda, personal communication, February 11, 2016). The session involving operations for compatibility purposes involved the utilization of the Windows operating systems. I observed that Dot Net programming language is supported by Microsoft Dot Net Framework, which is applied to the main development environment. The operations and applications covered during training enabled me to observe the implementation of Dot Net programming in designing the user interface, client-server models, and server models. I discovered the Dot Net programming language is highly recommended since it supports the compatibility of devices. Through a training session, I discovered that Dot Net programming language solves the limitations involved with compatibility problems by supporting old and new versions of database server operating system.

Reflection
Through the session on acquiring skills in usage of Microsoft Dot Net was well covered through interaction with experts. Through the session, I understood the operations involving development and coding of web applications using Dot Net programming language. The activity of learning how to program in C#, ASP Dot Net was well implemented. I gained experience in implementing the applications on the websites that are well stunning, highly dynamic, high quality, and acceptable to the business entities. The session involving integrating other software programming techniques was well covered. I gained knowledge of how to implement and designing user interface using CSS. The HTML programming language was implemented in designing the applications that support the business operations of intranet and extranet services. The training on the use of Dot Net programming techniques applies the use of the security parameters as well as the implementing highly scalable, robust, and high-quality system (L. F. Middy, personal communication, February 18, 2016). The session that never went well-included training on the job applications. The session on obtaining the requirements for job requirement was not covered as planned as scheduled at the planning stage. However those parts not covered shall be researched in details in next stage.