Fifty. That’s the number of times a report from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General (OIG) used the word “fail” or “failure” in its review of a VA office designed to protect agency whistleblowers.
The VA’s Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP) failed at times to keep whistleblowers’ identities secret and shield them from retaliation, did not adequately train staff and investigated criminal acts outside its purview, according to a sweeping report from the OIG released this month.
The VA OAWP office was created by Congress in 2017 to improve protections for whistleblowers while also holding VA employees accountable. […]
“Instead of using the personnel authorities Congress provided the agency to root out bad managers and improve service delivery to veterans,” J. David Cox, American Federation of Government Employees president an employee union which represents VA employees, said in a release reacting to the report. “The VA has systematically misused its authority to fire low-level staffers, retaliate against whistleblowers, and hurt the very veterans the agency was created to help.” More…