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Whistleblower Protection Coordinator

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 was signed into law on November 27, 2012. The Act strengthens protection for Federal employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse in Government operations.

Whistleblower disclosures can save lives as well as billions of taxpayer dollars. They play a critical role in keeping our Government honest, efficient, and accountable. Recognizing that whistleblowers root out waste, fraud, and abuse, and protect public health and safety, federal laws strongly encourage employees to disclose wrongdoing. Federal laws also protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 directs Inspectors General to designate a Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s role is to educate agency employees about prohibitions on retaliation for protected disclosures, and educate agency employees who have made or are contemplating making a protected disclosure about the rights and remedies against retaliation for protected disclosures. The Ombudsman is prohibited from acting as an employee’s or former employee’s legal representative, agent, or advocate.

OIG has designated a Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman. In 2017, the Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman title was changed to the Whistleblower Protection Coordinator. USDA employees may contact the USDA Whistleblower Protection Coordinator at OIGWPC@oig.usda.gov. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs created a report summarizing the changes made to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act by the Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act. It can be read in its entirety here: https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/115th-congress/senate-report/196/1?overview=closed.

Individuals who believe they have been improperly retaliated against may contact the following resources:

  1. The United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General Hotline in any methods in the sidebar or from the Hotline page.
  2. The Whistleblower Protection Coordinator.
  3. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Certain employees may be able to appeal directly to MSPB. More information on whistleblower MSPB appeals is available at www.mspb.gov/appeals/whistleblower.htm

Resources