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.