Summary: Yesterday, the Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to President Obama urging increased oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration, which has failed to respond to a number of whistleblower safety complaints. The FAA has one of the highest whistleblower complaint rates of all the executive branch agencies. OSC detailed a number of the recent safety disclosures, including improperly fitted night vision goggles, incompetent air traffic controllers in New York, insufficient oversight of Delta's maintenance program, and faulty wind instruments, among others.
GAP’s Shanna Devine praises this step by Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner in a recent blog post. This is just one of the recent ways Lerner has shown her dedication to whistleblower rights.
Summary: The Merit Systems Protection Board has ordered the reinstatement (with back pay) of an Environmental Protection Agency scientist who claimed she was fired after accusing the agency of understating the toxicity of dust at the 9/11 Ground Zero site. The Board found that she had been improperly dismissed without being informed of all the charges against her, or having an adequate opportunity to make her case as a whistleblower.
Related Article: Guardian (UK)
Summary: Beef Products Inc. (BPI), maker of 'pink slime,' has announced it will permanently close three of its four plants at the end of the month. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign attributes the move to BPI's lack of transparency and attempt to dismiss consumer and whistleblower concerns.
Summary: The Air Force has issued a directive that two pilot whistleblowers that exposed oxygen deprivation problems with F-22 planeslast Sunday on 60 Minutes are not to be retaliated against.
Key Quote: “When Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown asked General Janet Wolfenbarger to confirm there would be no retaliation against the two pilots, Wolfenbarger said "absolutely" not.
"There is clearly the whistleblower protection, the statute that protects those folks," Wolfenbarger elaborated, adding that she considered the two pilots whistleblowers. "Our chief and our secretary have made that understood in our Air Force."
Related Article: CNN
Summary: A whistleblower and local news investigation team exposed a significant security breach at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. New photographs have been taken by the whistleblower showing ongoing problems, including unsealed food carts waiting to be loaded onto passenger planes.
Summary: Senate whistleblower champion Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is criticizing the IRS for the handling of its whistleblower program. According to this column, the agency’s “hostile bureaucracy and shifting internal policies” threaten to undercut the program.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.