Whistleblower Complainants Rarely Qualify for Office of the Special Counsel Protection.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC GENERAL GOVERNMENT DIV
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The Office of the Special Counsel is an independent component of the Merit Systems Protection Board, charged by the Civil Service Reform Act with prosecuting violations of prohibited personnel practices--such as reprisal for whistleblowing--to secure both disciplinary and corrective action. The vast majority of complaints brought to the Special Counsel by federal employees are closed during the offices screening process. GAO examined a random sample of 76 whistleblower reprisal complaints closed by the Office of the Special Counsel in the past 2 years and found that each case file documented at least one defect that the office believed would prevent successful prosecution of the case under current law. Comparing the facts with the legal requirements for a successful prosecution, GAO found that the Office of the Special Counsel had reasonable grounds to close each case. In assessing the need for stronger whistleblower protections, the Congress should consider that the Office of the Special Counsel is only one of the institutions involved in deterring reprisals against legitimate whistleblowers.
- Sociology and Law
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations