- May 20th, 2012
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It is difficult for an employee to summon the courage to be a whistleblower. This is because exposing dishonest activities can jeopardize a whistleblowers safety as well as his/ her loved ones. There are witnesses that have also been relegated to a lower position, fired, or even killed after divulging shady practices. Fortunately, the U.S. government has enacted the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act to safeguard any disclosure made. The revelation should cover activities where there is misuse of authority and public trust resulting to monetary losses in behalf of the government.
Disclosure of a wrongdoing usually follows a step-by-step process. First, the federal government whistleblower notifies authorities of any suspected misconduct of a public official. He/she must formally submit complaints to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) along with evidences showing existence of the said allegations. Once received, the OSC has to investigate and verify the complaints within a 240-day period. A positive finding will warrant review prior to submission of reports to the whistleblower, U.S. Comptroller General, Congress, and the President. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in cooperation with OSC will then implement against the charged party either corrective or disciplinary actions or a combination of these two. The guilty officer or employee faces possible suspension, removal from position, debarment, or fines depending on the gravity of the offense.