The WhistleWatch Blog: Cause of Action Not for Profit Advocate Seeks Information on Whistleblower Retaliation From Federal Agencies
Amazing how quickly the Government Services Administration (GSA) scandal can rally members of Congress to take a fresh look at the failure of the federal government to protect their own whistleblowers. Whistlewatch.org and other advocacy groups have been sounding the alarm for years, seemingly to no avail. However, the recent request by Cause of Action, a non-profit, public benefit corporation to the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget to perform a government-wide audit to determine whether agencies are abiding by whistleblower protection laws looks promising. Congratulations to Daniel Epstein on this bold move who joins us in seeking to know exactly how much the federal government is spending to retaliate against federal whistleblowers. Mr. Epstein’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and related requests are available below. We further note the comments by GSA Inspector General Brian Miller that Regional Administrator Jeff Neely “‘squashed’ agency whistleblowers ‘like a bug” should garner immediate public interest in abuse of authority and tax payer waste. Perhaps now there will be renewed interest in the plight of whistleblowers who honor the Fourteen Principles of Ethical Conduct as revelations surface on the insidious long-term, financial impact on tax payers when whistleblowers are mistreated. Better protections of federal employees are desperately needed. The recent Senate committee report on S. 743 to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), can be found at this site with comments from our colleague, David Pardo. Essentially federal agencies have been hiding the costs of retaliation against whistleblowers because Congress does not require them to publish the information. If the federal government loses a case (overwhelming majority of complaints are never recorded or are dismissed or settled because the whistleblower is pressured), the agency must reimburse the Judgment Fund. This money comes out of the agency budget (funded by tax payers), usually the offending official’s department. What is odd is that even when federal executives are aware of retaliation by management, they will still approve bonuses and excellent performance appraisals for those who violate whistleblower protection laws. Rarely does any executive get called on the carpet. There has been a lack of enforcement proceedings against management committing prohibited personnel practices. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) reviews federal employee whistleblower complaints recently requested action be taken against 2 higher-ups in the Dover Air Force Base mortuary scandal. Among other things, the investigation showed a tone set at the top to willfully harm the whistleblowers who reported gruesome details of how deceased veterans remains were being mishandled including sawing off an arm of a dead Marine and veteran remains left in boxes, leaking blood, for months. This article discusses the severe retaliation including forensic analysis of computer hard drives reserved for espionage cases. With government agencies and corporations openly calling whistleblowers snitches, rats, disloyal and character flawed, the tax payers must ask themselves some hard questions. Do you want government employees to protect your money? Or do you want it to be used to harm public servants who report misappropriation of funding, criminal conduct and dangers to public health and safety? WhistleWatch » Blog Archive » Cause of Action Not for Profit Advocate Seeks Information on Whistleblower Retaliation From Federal Agencies.