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Federal Employees News Digest : Nov. 26, 2012
continued on page 9 November 26, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 20 4 visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com That Oct. 10 directive, PPD-19, forbids agen- cies from taking personnel actions against the employees covered by the directive 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. Among other things, the directive also instructed intelligence agencies to create a review process within 270 days for claims of retaliation consistent with the Whistleblower Protection Act, and ordered agencies that possess classified information to establish an inspector general review process for retaliation claims related to security clearances and eligibility for access to classified information. While GAP and other whistleblower groups praised that directive, Devine noted at the time that PPD-19 nonetheless was no substitute for enactment of legislation that makes permanent changes to the law. Extensive improvements The bill passed last week expands on the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 by strengthening a wide range of protections for disclosures of government wrongdoing. The bill closes loopholes that had resulted in the protection of whistleblowers only when they are first to report misconduct, and only if it is unconnected to their job duties. It also clarifies that whistleblowers are pro- tected for challenging the consequences of gov- ernment policy decisions, and that protection of critical inf rastructure information does not override WPA protection. The WPEA also: • Suspends the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ sole jurisdiction on appellate review of the WPA; • Establishes protections for Transportation Security Administration employees; • Overturns a practice that allows agencies to present their defense first, and that permits the Merit Systems Protection Board to rule on a case before a whistleblower presents evidence of retaliation; • Specifies that a president who exercises the power to impose a national security exemption in a whistleblower case must do so prior to any challenged personnel action; • Provides compensatory damages for whistle- blowers who prevail after an administrative hear- ing or retaliatory investigation; and • Gives the Office of Special Counsel author- ity to file friend-of-the-court briefs to support employees appealing MSPB rulings, and makes it easier for the OSC to discipline responsible parties in cases of illegal retaliation. Some saw the passage of the bill as a possible indication of a new spirit of cooperation in a post-election Congress. “This opening salvo to the lame duck shows that Congress can put aside partisan posturing and deliver more government accountability to the American public,” said Angela Canterbury, director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight. To see the text of the bill, go to: http:// makeitsafecampaign.org/news/wp-content/ uploads/2012/11/S.-743-As-Amended.pdf. Pressure resumes for contractor caps With political campaigns out of the way and the 112th Congress entering its final weeks, public interest, government accountability and federal employee groups resumed efforts to per- suade lawmakers to lower the cap on contractor salaries. In a Nov. 13 letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittees, leaders of labor and good gov- ernment groups urged legislators to lower the cap on the maximum allowable compensa- tion paid by government funds to all non- Defense Department contract employees— 2013 Federal Employees Almanac Your One-stop Resource on Federal Benefits Reserve NOW for Best Savings! www.FederalDaily.com/catalog • 800.989 .3363 Shipping February 2013 Celebrating 60 Years of the Almanac! continued from page 3
Nov. 19, 2012
Dec. 3, 2012