Dissenters’ Digest for May 6-12
Dissenters’ Digest takes a look back at the week’s stories covering whistleblowers, watchdogs, and government accountability. Look for it every Saturday evening at www.mspbwatch.net/digest.
Senate Passes the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012: In a rare show of unanimity, the Senate passed S. 743, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, this week, the latest attempt to update the Whistleblower Protection Act in 13 years. The last attempt, in December 2010, was defeated by a secret hold in the Senate, according to the Government Accountability Project. Not all are enthused with the bill’s protections, which “fall short of the comprehensive whistleblower law reforms promised in the 2008 political campaign,” notes Stephen Kohn of the National Whistleblowers Center. Now it’s up to the House to pass their version, H.R. 3289, before the two bills can be reconciled and sent to the President’s desk.
OSC Reports the FAA is Slow in Correcting Whistleblower Complaints: In a rare move, the Office of Special Counsel combined seven whistleblower disclosures from FAA employees into one report to the President and the Congress, citing “an ongoing series of troubling safety disclosures by air traffic controllers and other FAA employees” which have not been rectified by the Department of Transportation. The Special Counsel stated that the “FAA has one of the highest rates of whistleblower filings per employee of any executive branch agency: OSC received 178 whistleblower disclosures from FAA employees since FY 2007, 89 of which related to aviation safety. OSC referred 44 of those to DOT for investigation. DOT ultimately substantiated all but five of those referrals — 89 percent — in whole or in part. In four of the seven cases presented today, the whistleblower had to make repeat disclosures with OSC because the FAA took inadequate steps to correct the concern or failed to implement any corrective action.” The Washington Post has additional coverage.
Below the Fold:
–An internal Pentagon report claims the DoD left whistleblowers vulnerable to reprisal.
–Two F-22 pilots who refuse to fly the aircraft appeared on 60 minutes, claiming a malfunction causes oxygen deprivation aloft.
–The above notwithstanding, the Air Force is in the process of disciplining the F-22 pilots. Congress is expressing concern.
–An EPA scientist who lost her job after blowing the whistle on health dangers to 9/11 first responders prevailed at the Merit Systems Protection Board and will be reinstated.
–The media is silent when the Obama Administration goes after whistleblowers.
–An employment lawyer looks at the fuzzy definition of “gross waste of funds.”
–Thomas Drake speaks with Eliot Spitzer about the DOJ being used to cover up crimes of the Bush and Obama Administrations.
–The FBI is the most effective lobbyist against whistleblower protections, according to a radio interview with National Whistleblowers Center Executive Director Stephen Kohn.
–Former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary will file a whistleblower suit against the university over its handling of the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal.
–The Fourth Circuit revives claims by former Iraqi detainees against contractors who are alleged to have tortured them.
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