Developments at the OSC: The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently issued its annual report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2017.
OSC reported an overall decrease in new matters over FY16, with a drop of almost 3% in new matters received, and an almost 7% reduction in new Prohibited Personnel Practice (PPP) complaints–the category which includes whistleblower reprisal complaints–as compared to FY16. OSC also reported at 13% increase in its pending case backlog as compared to FY16, with the total case backlog now at almost 47% of its annual case closure total.
PPP case processing by 240 day internal deadlines dropped by 8%. However, whistleblower cases with favorable outcomes increased 19%, and the favorable outcome percentage for all PPPs increased almost 22%. All of OSC’s non-stay favorable PPP outcomes came from settlement, as OSC did not file any actions with the MSPB in FY15, FY16 or FY17. This settlement statistic is important due to the settlement restrictions from Section 5 of the Executive Order 13839 (analyzed in this blog), potentially limiting OSC’s ability to settle cases involving performance or disciplinary issues.
OSC reported a 7% increase in whistleblower disclosure cases processed, a more than doubling of Hatch Act complaints closed, and a steady caseload of USERRA cases compared to FY16 (although OSC’s USERRA case volume was only about 14% of the MSPB’s USERRA case volume in FY17).
If you believe that you have been the subject of whistleblower reprisal or any other Prohibited Personnel Practice, please contact Passman & Kaplan to request an initial consultation.