Whistleblower Protection:

Reasons for Whistleblower Complainants' Dissatisfaction Need To Be Explored

GGD-94-21: Published: Nov 15, 1993. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined federal employees' views on the Office of Special Counsel's (OSC) processing of whistleblower reprisal complaints and effectiveness in protecting whistleblowers from reprisal.

GAO found that: (1) most of the federal employees surveyed rated OSC performance as poor and were not satisfied with its handling of their cases; (2) most respondents did not understand the whistleblower complaint process and were not fully informed of the procedures involved and the probability of success before they filed their complaints; (3) most respondents believed that OSC did not act on their behalf and they needed their own counsel to protect their interests; and (4) the respondents that received corrective action on their complaints were generally satisfied with OSC performance, but more than one-third of them believed OSC performed poorly.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: OSC believes that agencies should be educating their employees on whistleblower rights and protections and that this would affect the level of satisfaction employees had with OSC efforts. OSC does not plan any further action to explore complainant dissatisfaction.

    Recommendation: The Special Counsel should explore the reasons for whistleblower complainants' dissatisfaction with the OSC process and work with the Subcommittee on Civil Service to develop an appropriate strategy for addressing these concerns.

    Agency Affected: Office of Special Counsel


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