We are deeply disappointed at the letter from Darshan A. Sheth, Acting Director of Public Affairs for the Office of Special Counsel (letter to the editor, Washington Post on Monday, July 26, 2010). There is bipartisan consensus that the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is dysfunctional, and instead of suggesting reforms, the OSC responded to this criticism by obfuscating its record. This is a bureaucracy that has failed to protect whistleblowers for the past ten years.
The letter from the OSC fails to mention the most recent statistics it released, which show that during fiscal year 2008 the OSC ignored 95% of whistleblower disclosures without any investigation and obtained zero stays from the Merit Systems Protection Board. Indeed the letter notes that there is an “increase in the number of whistleblower reprisal complaints“ even as the OSC continues to do little or nothing to support the whistleblowers who file these complaints.
The only way for whistleblowers to be truly protected is if this defensive posturing by the OSC ends. Real reform must occur, and President Obama must appoint a new chief watchdog at the OSC who will protect and champion the whistleblower.