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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct. 22, 2012
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org What's Inside44 october 22, 2012 • Vol. 62, No. 15 continued on page 3 Intelligence workers to get whistleblower protection President Obama this month issued a presidential policy directive extending whistleblower protections to intelligence community employees---as well as to other employees who are eligible for access to classified information. Federal employees with access to clas- sified information have long been pre- vented from blowing the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse---an exclusion justified on national security grounds. Congress has backed agencies in denying such employees whistleblower protections afforded to others in the federal work- force. The House on Sept. 28 passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743) which contains key reforms to the Whistleblower Protection Act. But--- following the example set by previous Congresses---it did so only after members removed key provisions related to security clearances, the intelligence community, access to jury trials, and contractor protec- tions. The president's directive effectively forc- es agencies to put into practice protections that were stripped out of the proposed legislation. The Oct. 10 directive, PPD-19, forbids agencies from taking personnel actions against the employees covered by the direc- tive in retaliation for protected disclosures of waste, fraud or abuse. The directive also prohibits retaliatory actions related to security clearances and eligibility for access to classified information. The directive requires each intelligence agency to create a review process within 270 days for claims of retaliation consistent with the Whistleblower Protection Act, and orders agencies that possess classified information to establish an inspector gen- eral review process for retaliation claims related to security clearances and eligibility for access to classified information. The directive also provides for reinstate- ment, compensatory damages, restoration of back pay and other remedies in cases where retaliation is substantiated. The directive orders the creation of a review board of inspectors general where IC whis- tleblowers can appeal agency decisions. PPD-19 also includes a stipulation that nothing contained in the directive limits existing rights under the WPA. Advocates praise directive "It's something we fought for, for years," Joe Newman, communications director of the nonprofit good governance group Project on Government Oversight, told FEND. "We've felt very strongly that it should have been included in several pre- vious bills. But it's always been blocked by some in Congress---it's been hard to get through legislatively, and the president has taken action instead. "We'd still like to see these protec- Lukewarm COLA Imagine you are a dedicated and voting delegate at your union's national conven- tion. The conven- tion is in Honolulu, as in Hawaii. You are honored to be there and fortunate that your union local is paying most of your expenses, including airfare. It is a very big deal. It doesn't get much better than that. Being feds, none of the delegates makes a ton of money. Few could afford to vacation in the Aloha State. But since your trip and room are paid for by the union local, many del- egates decide it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so many also bring their spouses and/or kids. Imagine the presidential election is less than three months away. And as a gesture of good will, the president pro- poses giving all white-collar and blue- collar federal workers a 9.1 percent raise. That's almost 10 percent. A lot. When the pay raise proposal is announced to the delegates, guess what they do? Standing ovation, right? Wrong. They boo, hiss, whistle and shout it down. It is an insult. Definitely not enough. INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • Annuitants to get COLA 4 • In Brief 4 • Informed investor 7 • Federal Benefits Q&A 8
Oct. 15, 2012
Oct. 29, 2012