Whistleblower Protection:

Employees' Awareness and Impact of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989

T-GGD-93-19: Published: Mar 31, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed whistleblower protection and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), focusing on: (1) the extent of federal employee whistleblower protection awareness; (2) the effectiveness of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989; and (3) federal agency efforts to implement whistleblower statutes. GAO noted that: (1) although the Whistleblowers Protection Act of 1989 is designed to protect federal employee whistleblowers from reprisals, federal employees continue to have difficulty proving whistleblower reprisals; (2) the number of whistleblower reprisal complaints has increased, but the percentage of OSC corrective actions has remained proportionately low; (3) whistleblowers who filed complaints with the Merit Systems Protection Board had greater success proving reprisal; (4) most federal agencies had not adequately supported implementation of whistleblower statutes or informed employees of their whistleblower rights; and (5) not all federal employees are covered by whistleblower protection statutes and differences in agency enabling legislation has resulted in limited employee protection against whistleblower reprisal.

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