In part one of the exclusive Federal News Radio series, Karla Saunders says SBA management continues to exact revenge against her for testifying on behalf of another employee about agency misconduct. Saunders says among the reprisals she has faced over the past three years is officials put her in two jobs involuntarily that she has no qualifications for. SBA officials deny any wrongdoing and say the administrator has no tolerance for waste, fraud, abuse or mismanagement.
In part 2 of the special investigative series, Diane Sellers said she faced another round of retaliation just this past January when management moved her into a new position without cause. Sellers and two other career agency officials say they are facing a hostile work environment because they blew the whistle on potential misconduct. SBA says there is no evidence of HR violations or creating phony positions.
In part 3 of Federal News Radio’s exclusive investigative series ”Discouraged and Disrespected at SBA,” Karla Saunders weighs her options to find resolution in her three-year battle against alleged retaliation. Saunders and three other agency employees say they want to return to their original jobs and restore their reputations. SBA officials say the agency is focusing on strengthening management and oversight.
In part 4 of Federal News Radio’s investigative series ”Discouraged and Disrespected at SBA,” allegations of cronyism and conflict of interest in the acquisition process arise. Over the past year, lawmakers and auditors have raised concerns about the agency’s acquisition practices. SBA officials deny the accusations and say they are strengthening their acquisition processes.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills sent an email to staff to respond to the Federal News Radio reports about allegations of whistleblower retaliation at the agency.
Karla Saunders alleges the agency violated her civil rights and she was a victim of reprisals. SBA declines to comment.
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.
VA Secretary Bob McDonald said the new “Road to Veterans Day Action Review” released Thursday will help change the culture of the agency. The three-pronged strategy is part of McDonald’s efforts during his first 100 days in office.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald’s goal is straightforward: rebuild the trust in the VA. In his first 100 days as secretary, McDonald met with dozens of employees, lawmakers and other key stakeholders to both listen and understand how best to do that. Federal News Radio’s Executive Editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with details on the steps McDonald has taken and plans to take.
The Office of Special Counsel is just the latest federal agency to suffer from the problem of case backlogs. In its latest report to Congress, OSC showed it had nearly 2,000 backlogged “matters” from fiscal 2014. OSC says it expects 6,000 new cases to come in during 2015.