Whistleblower Protection:

Survey of Federal Employees on Misconduct and Protection From Reprisal

GGD-92-120FS: Published: Jul 14, 1992. Publicly Released: Aug 5, 1992.

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

GAO found that: (1) most employees were generally aware of a law to protect them from reprisals, but lacked knowledge about their right to protection; (2) 70 percent of employees surveyed said they did not have enough information about where to report misconduct; (3) most employees said that the source of their information about a right to protection was not their own agency; (4) 49 percent said they did not know or had no basis to judge the extent to which their agency supported whistleblower protection, and 33 percent said they either did not know or had no basis to judge how their agency would respond if they reported misconduct; (5) 36 percent of employees believed protection for federal employees was inadequate, while only 13 percent said it was adequate; and (6) to encourage reporting of misconduct, most employees believed that something had to be done to correct the problem reported, the problem had to be serious, the employee would have to be protected from reprisal, and the employee would have to remain anonymous.

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