Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Office of Special Counsel needs to come up with a

better strategy to processes whistleblower cases and deal


with its case backlog, the General Accounting Office has


It said that from fiscal 1997 through 2003, 34 percent of

the prohibited personnel practice cases were backlogged,

as were 96 percent of the whistleblower disclosure cases,

and OSC took an average of more than six months to

process a whistleblower disclosure case.

In 2001 OSC hired additional staff and merged its

investigators and attorneys into a single unit and such

efforts increased the average number of cases processed

per individual, said GAO.

OSC now says its difficulties meeting statutory time

requirements stem from staffing shortages, or staff

turnover and subsequent training needs. OSC noted the

difficulty in meeting the 15-day time limit in processing

whistleblower disclosure cases, but did not propose an

alternate time frame.