The Office of Special Counsel has honored with its annual Public Service Award a whistleblower—who remains anonymous—who disclosed a problem that had left uncollected nearly $92 million in debts owed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The disclosure involved some 11,000 fines owed by employers for workplace safety violations that had been referred to Treasury for collection on behalf of OSHA but that had been left uncollected due to a software flaw. After OSC referred the disclosure to Treasury and Labor, those departments not only confirmed the allegations but also found that the problem affected debt collections by Treasury for 12 other agencies, the OSC said.
That resulted in “significant corrective action to fix the software problem and recoup funds owed to the government,” the OSC said. “Because of this brave whistleblower’s actions, millions of dollars are being reimbursed to the government for the full benefit of American taxpayers.”