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Whistleblower Protection Office Fails to Protect Whistleblowers

A government agency designed to protect those who blow the whistle on corruption and malfeasance is now under investigation for retaliating against the very people it’s supposed to protect.

The Trump administration created the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP) in 2017. The President was quoted as saying, “This bill protects whistleblowers who do the right thing. We want to reward, cherish, and promote the many dedicated employees at the VA.” Now, however, the OAWP is being investigated by a watchdog group called the Office of Inspector General.

Dan Martin of VA’s Northern Indiana Health Care System said “OAWP set me up.” When Martin discovered improper contracting practices, he was reassigned by his superiors to work in an office with no heat or air conditioning. When the VA launched an investigation, they asked Martin to record several conversations with his superiors. But after the OAWP was brought into the loop, his superiors became aware of his cooperation against them. “They incentivized [my facility] to go after me.”

Tom Devine, legal director at a government whistleblower advocacy group, praised the early accomplishments of the OAWP. But he now claims “didn’t have the teeth to enforce their good deeds … (and) they turned on the whistleblowers.”

Potential Preaching Angles: God is not pleased when those entrusted with enforcing the law do not do so. Part of our calling as Christians is helping to protect those who are falsely accused.

Eric Katz, “New Whistleblower Protection Office Is Under Investigation for Retaliating Against Whistleblowers,” Govexec.Com (4-16-19)

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