Author Topic: What does the Office of Special Counsel Do?  (Read 6105 times)

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Offline MedicalWhistleblower

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What does the Office of Special Counsel Do?
« on: August 06, 2011, 03:16:07 PM »
Government oversight and the role of the OSC

What does the OSC do?
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent body charged with defending federal employees who disclose incidents of abuse, waste or mismanagement, or who have been discriminated against in the workplace because of political affiliation or personal status.
The OSC is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. The basic authorities come from four federal statutes: the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Hatch Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

PPPs & Whistleblower Protection

OSC receives, investigates, and prosecutes allegations of Prohibited Personnel Practices, or PPPs, with an emphasis on protecting federal government whistleblowers. OSC seeks corrective action remedies (such as back pay and reinstatement), by negotiation or from the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), for injuries suffered by whistleblowers and other complainants. OSC is also authorized to file complaints at the MSPB to seek disciplinary action against individuals who commit PPPs.

See the Department of Justice -  Office of Special Counsel Official Website

Disclosure Unit

OSC provides a secure channel through its Disclosure Unit for federal workers to report information about workplace improprieties, including a violation of law, rule or regulation, gross mismanagement and waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial danger to public health or safety.

Hatch Act Unit (Political Activity)

OSC promotes compliance by government employees with legal restrictions on political activity by providing advisory opinions on, and enforcing, the Hatch Act.  The Unit provides over a thousand advisory opinions yearly to guide individuals on whether political activities are permitted under the Act.
Hatch Act Unit is charged to enforce compliance with the Act. Depending on the severity of the violation, OSC will either issue a warning letter to the employee, or prosecute a violation before MSPB.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (Veterans’ Rights)

OSC protects the civilian employment and reemployment rights of military veterans, members of the National Guard and Reserve by enforcing the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

Employee Information Programs

Section 2302(c) of Title 5 of the U.S. Code makes agency heads and officials with personnel authority responsible (in consultation with OSC) for informing federal employees of their rights and remedies under chapters 12 and 23 of Title 5. These chapters cover prohibited personnel practices, whistleblower disclosures, political activity, access to OSC and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
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