The Office of Special Counsel has reminded agencies that by law they must participate in its certification program to ensure that employees are informed of the rights and remedies available to them under civil service and whistleblower protection laws.
The certification steps include: placing informational posters about prohibited personnel practices (PPP) and whistleblower protection laws at agency facilities; providing information about protections under whistleblower protection laws to new employees as part of the orientation process; providing annual notification to current employees about their rights and remedies under whistleblower protection laws; providing PPP training for supervisors; and posting a link to OSC’s website on the agency’s webpage or intranet.
Once it deems those steps completed satisfactorily OSC certifies agencies and includes their status in its annual report to Congress.
OSC said it makes its experts available to train agency personnel about prohibited practices, adding that it “strongly recommends that high‐level managers receive in‐person training.”
“Education is an important step towards creating an environment where whistleblowers feel free to disclose wrongdoing. By embracing whistleblowers, agency leaders can improve the services that the federal government provides to the American people while reducing waste, fraud, and abuse,” Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said in a statement.
Agencies must be recertified every three years. Currently, 100 agencies or components are certified and another 44 are in process, OSC said.