The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 is one tool that is helping to build federal employees’ trust in their agencies. More employees are reporting waste, fraud and abuse to the Office of Special Counsel. As part of our special report Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and its Employees, Tom and Emily spoke with Carolyn Lerner on the Federal Drive. She says the new law lets her office more aggressively defend both whistleblowers and the federal government’s merit system.
The heads of both the Office of Special Counsel and Merit Systems Protection Board tell Federal News Radio as part of our special report, “Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees,” that their increasing workloads could actually be a sign of progress, and that more employees feel protected enough to make whistleblower disclosures. However, an exclusive Federal News Radio survey reveals a wide chasm of trust remains when it comes to feds blowing the whistle at work.
A customer service representative at the IRS who repeatedly greeted taxpayers calling a help-line with a chant urging President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012 could now be facing significant disciplinary action, according to the Office of Special Counsel. It’s one of three cases of improper political activity at the agency recently uncovered by OSC. Meanwhile, three career officials at Customs and Border Protection are under fire by OSC for allegedly manipulating the hiring process to install job candidates favored by political leadership into career appointments.
Union and CBP officials call for reform of outdated OT pay system, saying the purpose of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime was misinterpreted.
The Office of Special Counsel, the agency tasked with investigating federal-agency whistleblower claims and protecting whistleblowers, themselves, from retaliation has seen demand for its work skyrocket in the wake of recent legislative changes. Now, Carolyn Lerner, the head of the OSC, said she hopes the small agency’s budget will keep pace.
On the Federal Drive show blog, you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.
The Office of Special Counsel found the HHS Secretary’s remarks in February at a gala violated the law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in partisan actions. Kathleen Sebelius contends she didn’t break the law.
State and local investigations make it difficult for investigators to probe possible Hatch Act violations by federal employees, said Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner. The Office of Special Counsel is asking Congress to remove OSC’s duty of policing state and local issues, so it can focus on federal cases.
Earlier this week, Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner notified the president and Congress that the Department of Transportation had not acted promptly or sufficiently to complaints made by FAA whistleblowers.
Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner sent a letter to President Barack Obama Tuesday, calling attention to reports of safety lapses at some U.S. commercial aviation facilities. She also criticized the Federal Aviation Administration for delays in responding to whistleblower disclosures.