The Office of Special Counsel is urging individual agencies to register for OSC’s 2302 (c) Certification Program, which provides information on prohibited personnel practices and offers protection for whistleblowers.
The Office of Special Counsel says it’s been a “victim of its own success” in fiscal 2015, thanks to more VA whistleblowers coming forward.
The President’s picks for VA inspector general and special counsel at the Office of Special Counsel told lawmakers on Tuesday that they would work to provide protection for whistleblowers and transparency when dealing with congressional oversight and reform.
The Office of Special Counsel, Merit Systems Protection Board and Office of Government Ethics haven’t received authorization from Congress since 2007. But Congress says it wants to consider additional legislation and statutory changes before it issues new reauthorizations.
A slew of whistleblower complaints from the Veterans Affairs Department has made this anything but a normal year for the Office of Special Counsel. VA’s troubles have raised the profile of this small agency that protects federal employees from prohibited personnel practices. Its leader, Carolyn Lerner, gives Federal Drive with Tom Temin the highlights of the agency’s new annual report to Congress.
OSC sends a letter directly to the President outlining mismanagement within VA and targeting of whistleblowers for disciplinary action.
The Office of Special Counsel saw a 17 percent jump in whistleblower retaliations and other personnel cases in 2014 as compared to 2013. OSC tells Congress it expects 2015 will be busier.
Three whistleblowers at the Veterans Affairs Department are the “Public Servants of the Year.” The Office of Special Counsel awarded the employees, all doctors, with the distinction. Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said, “because of these doctors’ efforts, veterans are now far more likely to receive the treatment they deserve.” Federal News Radio’s Emily Kopp was at the ceremony and joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss their story.
Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project told a House subcommittee Tuesday that some agencies are circumventing the protections provided by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.
The Office of Special Counsel is investigating more than three dozen claims of whistleblower retaliation at the scandal-rocked Veterans Affairs Department. The 37 cases OSC is investigating span VA facilities in 19 states. They include VA employees who say they’ve been retaliated against for disclosing a range of misconduct, including improper scheduling practices, the misuse of agency funds and inappropriately restraining patients, according to OSC.