Whistleblower protection reinforced at DoD

Civilian Pentagon whistleblowers need protection. It’s the job of Daniel Meyer, the director of whistleblowing and transparency at the Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General to make sure they get that protection.

His hard work has made him a Service to America Medal finalist in the National Security and International Affairs category.

The office started seven years ago, and has two key missions, Meyer said:

  • how the DoD protect its sources
  • how the DoD treats the people that come forward in investigations, audits or evaluations

The idea behind the office, Meyer said, was to “coordinate a general environment policy that allows us to protect the people that bring information to us about wrongdoing within the department.”

In addition to protecting the confidentiality of whistleblowers, the office is also tasked to see if after personnel action is taken, the whistleblowers are targeted for reprisal action because of the information they brought to the IG’s office.

When information of wrongdoing is brought to the IG’s office, Meyer explained, it then looks at the facts and applies the law, taking into consideration the understanding that Congress is not looking at the motive of the employee, and makes the finding.

To the office, success is when it has protected the process of whistleblowing–not vindicated the office or employee. To Meyer, the work his office did with the NSA and Army to examine the security clearance decisions being taken is one of the successful investigations that stands out. Meyer said the Civilian Reprisals Investigation is now one of the leading federal investigative units.

Check out the rest of the 2011 Service to America Medal finalists.

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