Senate Passes Office of Special Counsel Reauthorization

Yesterday, the Senate passed S. 582, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Reauthorization Act of 2017 by unanimous consent. The bill reauthorizes OSC through fiscal year 2022 and provides other authorities.

United States of America Office of Special Counsel sealS. 582 provides the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) with statutory authority to access information, an enhanced ability to oversee agency implementation of corrective actions, and streamlined procedures for reviewing allegations. In addition, the bill requires agencies to provide training to supervisors on whistleblower protections and how to respond to allegations of violations of whistleblower protection laws. It also requires agencies to include whistleblower protection in performance evaluations for supervisors. If an agency head finds that a supervisor has committed a prohibited personal action, the disciplinary measure for the first finding is a three day suspension. Any subsequent finding of the supervisor committing a prohibited personnel practice will result in the removal of the supervisor. The finding of wrongdoing rests with the agency head. The bill eliminates the 30 days of advance notice of the charge and the “reasonable amount of time” to answer the charge. These charges now will be decided in 14 days. There will be no hearing at the agency level.

NTEU is closely following Congress’ actions on due process rights and will fight to protect these rights for our members.