Here are lists with links and information about the governmental entities, advocacy groups and laws that exist to support Whistleblowers:
- EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. May offer support in those Whistleblower cases where there is evidence of discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race and other factors.
- FLRA: Federal Labor Relations Authority. Handles the relationship between Agencies, Unions, and bargaining unit members. Thus, potentially offers intervention support in Whistleblower matters involving violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
- MSPB: Merit Systems Protection Board. Intended by Congress to protect merit systems. Thus, MSPB is supposed to provide Due Process for federal employees, to include guarding against arbitrary disciplinary retaliations. Broadly considered by Whistleblowers to be a complete failure; hopefully, MSPB will begin to assert their authority – or be abolished by Congress.
- NTSB: National Transportation Safety Board. Investigates significant accidents, and frequently reports FAA safety problems. FAA responses are delayed and deficient, and the safety problems become reported again by NTSB.
- OSC: Office of Special Counsel. The main federal office intended to focus specifically on investigating complaints, and protecting Whistleblowers from Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPP’s). OSC has historically been ineffective, mostly due to under-funding. The current OSC, under Carolyn Lerner, is becoming more openly critical of FAA Whistleblower retaliations, and appears to be working hard to restore their credibility.
- Unions: they exist to support union members, but in fact tend to do the opposite with Whistleblowers. Be very cautious when enlisting support from your Union representative, as they may be willing to bargain with Management, trading off a case for some other Union gain. In fact, because Whistleblowers tend to threaten the entire status quo (both the management authority and the Union authority), more often than not Unions will assist managers seeking to force older Whistleblowers into forced retirements.
- Cause of Action
- GAP (Government Accountability Project)
- MSPB Watch
- NoFEAR Coalition
- NWC (National Whistleblowers Center)
- POGO (Project on Government Oversight)
- CSRA: Civil Service Reform Act. Passed in 1978, establishing MSPB and OSC.
- WPA: Whistleblower Protection Act. Passed in 1989. Made OSC independent from MSPB.
- NoFEAR Act: Passed in 2002. Included a requirement that Agencies produce annual reports summarizing Whistleblower cases. Numerous agencies are not producing these required reports, or are producing deficient reports; no actions are being taken to correct this failure.
- WPEA: Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. Signed into law by President Obama on 11/27/12. Extended powers of OSC, hoping to improve agency accountability. As part of the improvement, agencies now must pay their own legal costs, regardless of whether they win or lose (previously, OSC had to pay costs, thus was averse to prosecute).
These laws were all passed by Congress. Nowadays, the process for improving Whistleblower laws relies heavily on the engagement of lobbyist advocacy NGO’s by congressional staffers. As such, it is not at all surprising that the existing laws are weak and routinely unenforced, while amendments get diluted and kicked down the road every year.
For an analysis of the impediments to effective Congressional support of Whistleblowers please see this color PDF