Army's Handling of "Whistleblower's" Contract Allegations and the MSPB Investigation

AFMD-83-67: Published: May 23, 1983. Publicly Released: May 23, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Army actions against an employee, resulting from his allegations of improprieties in an Army contract and the Merit Systems Protection Board's (MSPB) investigation of possible harassment and the incidents that led the the employee's dismissal.

GAO found that the Army had investigated the allegations three times and, although its auditors did not support the employee's allegations of mismanagement and waste of funds, they did find many administrative problems and questioned the outlay of funds for a product that the Army could not use. The case was investigated for evidence of fraud and, after finding no evidence of criminal misconduct, the investigation was terminated. GAO found that, because there was no evidence of a direct correlation between the dismissal of the employee and the information disclosure, MSPB closed its investigation of possible whistleblower harassment because it concluded that there was no evidence of any prohibited personnel practices. The case has subsequently been submitted for mediation on three occasions and each time the arbitrator ruled in favor of the employee. The employee's suspension was revoked and invalidated and his full reinstatement was ordered. Based on these arbitration opinions, MSPB is planning to reopen its harassment case to determine whether prohibited personnel practices were used.

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