FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 6, 2020
Government Accountability Project Clients Have Success at Office of Special Counsel
WASHINGTON – In a letter to Special Counsel Henry Kerner at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), Government Accountability Project expressed appreciation for recent settlement victories in Whistleblower Protection Act cases to challenge retaliation and continue careers. Three clients have faced severe retaliation, but recently received remedies from OSC decisions which have allowed them to remain at work. The Government Accountability Project letter singled out the leadership of ISC’s Alternative Disputes Resolution unit, which “has done more to make a tangible difference helping whistleblowers” than any other civil service resource.
In the three cases, one whistleblower, Jefferey Missal, challenged the Department of the Interior’s intent to undertake the approval of offshore oil exploration plans before the completion of the environmental reviews that are legally required under the National Environmental Policy Act. Two clients who have remained anonymous exposed wrongdoing at the Department of Veterans Affairs. One client exposed the departmental policy of maintaining a secret waiting list for patients, and the other challenged the practice of taking money away from treatment programs for veterans with catastrophic disability, exposing waste, fraud, mismanagement, and coverups.
Government Accountability Project Legal Director Tom Devine stated:
“The Office of Special Counsel deserves a great deal of credit for supporting whistleblowers during these trying times. These three individuals risked their careers to help protect others. We are pleased that the OSC has recognized the importance of their disclosures and worked tirelessly to help make sure that these brave public servants can stay in their jobs. The OSC made a real difference keeping three public servants on the job when government agencies wanted to purge them for blowing the whistle.”
Department of the Interior Whistleblower Jeffrey Missal stated:
“Mr. Kerner’s initial willingness to open a Prohibited Personnel Practices investigation following his review of my Whistleblower Protection Act disclosure let me know that I wasn’t alone. Even after the investigation was completed and their affirmative findings published, his staff stood by Tom and me through the entire Merit Systems Protection Board process and settlement negotiation. The support and work that the Office of Special Counsel has conducted on my behalf was invaluable to the successful drafting of a settlement agreement between myself and the Department of the Interior. Without their efforts, I don’t know that the same outcome would have been attainable.”
Contact: Andrew Harman, Director of Communications
Phone: (202) 457-0034 x156
Government Accountability Project
Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.