PBGC - Office of Inspector General

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Employee Whistleblower Protection

Who is PBGC OIG's Whistleblower Protection Coordinator

The Inspector General has designated Ronald Engler as the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Whistleblower Protection Coordinator, tasked with educating PBGC employees and contractor’s employees about prohibitions against retaliating against Federal whistleblowers and their specific rights and remedies. However, the Coordinator cannot act as a legal representative, agent, or advocate for PBGC employees or contractor’s employees. Mr. Engler can be reached at: 202-326-4030.

What is Whistleblower Retaliation?

Whistleblower retaliation is an adverse action in response to a protected disclosure of information. Retaliation includes almost any personnel action, failure to take a personnel action, or threat to take or fail to take a personnel action, which adversely affects the whistleblower, such as:

Who is Protected from Whistleblower Retaliation?

What Types of Disclosures are Protected?

In order for your disclosure to be protected, you must have a reasonable, good faith belief that the allegations you are disclosing are truthful. There are five types of protected disclosures:

The law also prohibits retaliation against government scientists who challenge censorship or make disclosures concerning the integrity of the scientific process if the censorship will cause one of the five types of misconduct described above.

Where Can You Report a Complaint of Whistleblower Retaliation?

OIG Hotline: If you are a PBGC employee, an employee of a PBGC contractor or an employee of a PBGC subcontractor, or grantee on a contract entered into or subject to a major modification after July 1, 2013, you may file a complaint with the OIG Hotline.

Office of Special Counsel (OSC): If you are a PBGC employee and wish to report whistleblower retaliation, you may wish to file a complaint directly with the OSC. The OSC is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency with the responsibility to receive, investigate, and prosecute allegations of whistleblower retaliation. Unlike the OIG, the OSC has authority to seek corrective action from PBGC by negotiating with PBGC or, if that is unsuccessful, by filing a complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to enforce corrective action for the whistleblower and initiate disciplinary action against the individual responsible for the retaliation. Corrective action might include ordering a promotion, cancelling a disciplinary action, payment of back pay, compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees. Learn more information on OSC’s complaint process.

U.S. Office of Special Counsel Certification

The Office of Inspector General's compliance with 5 U.S.C. § 2302(c) obligations to inform PBGC's workforce of their rights and remedies under the whistleblower protection provisions of chapters 12 and 23 of Title 5 has been certified by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. This certification is effective through December 2017.

Director's Memorandum to All PBGC Employees

In December 2020, PBGC Director Gordon Hartogensis highlighted his support for ongoing cooperation with the Office of Inspector General in a Corporation-wide email. In his message, the Director reminded PBGC employees that reprisals against employees who provide information or report allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse to OIG are against the law and Corporation policy.

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