“Joe Carson” <jpcarson@tds.net>  Add Mobile Alert
Subject: OSC Watch Petition to Congress

 

Subject:  Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Watch Petition to Congress

Sir,

Enclosed please find The OSC Watch < www.oscwatch.org > petition to Congress to conduct oversight of the Office of Special Counsel.  Its goals are supported by the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the nation’s leading whistleblower advocacy organization, GAP’s home page mentions it prominently < www.whistleblower.org>.

The Petition is about questions of law, not contested facts.  OSC Watch believes the most relevant subsection of law, 5 U.S.C. 1214(e), is explicitly clear and that the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has been in egregious violation of it since becoming an independent agency 1989.   5 U.S.C. 1214(e) is the heart of OSC’s statutory obligation to protect the federal employees who seek its protection from agency prohibited personnel practices (PPP’s), particularly whistleblower reprisal, or from other violations of law, rule, or regulation under its jurisdiction.  §1214(e) requires OSC to publicly and permanently (see §1219) report its determinations of violations of law, rule or regulation under its jurisdiction to the involved agency head.

OSC openly contends – to Congress and the Courts – that 1214(e) does not apply to the laws, rules, and regulations under its jurisdiction.  However, the wording of this subsection of law, how it was modified in 1989, its legislative history, and a final decision of a Federal Court (see Carson v. Office of Special Counsel, 05-537, 2006 WL 5085253 (D.D.C. October 30, 2006)) all demonstrate that 1214(e)  creates the universal requirement for OSC to report formally its determinations of violations of “any law, rule, or regulation” – including those under its jurisdiction – to the involved agency head.   The alternatives to reporting by §1214(e) are described in §1214(e) – when OSC formally reports its determinations of violations of criminal law to the Attorney General (and involved agency head) by §1214(d), or when OSC, as part of establishing jurisdiction to seek corrective action for a PPP at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), formally reports its determination to MSPB, the involved agency, and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) by §1214(b)(2)(B). 

the indisputable result of OSC’s perverse interpretation of §1214(e) is that it has not made a single §1214(e) report since 1989  – not in 30,000 investigations it has conducted – and does not formally reports its determinations of violation of law, rule, or regulation within its jurisdiction, except in the very rare instances when it makes the discretionary decision to formally seek corrective or disciplinary action at the Merit Systems Protection Board, something it has only done about 200 times since 1989. 

OSC is an essential part of the “immune system” for federal agencies in preventing, exposing, and correcting corruption and dysfunction.  Because OSC has failed to comply with its most important statutory duty as an investigatory agency – to report its determinations of violations of law, rule, or regulation under its jurisdiction, to the involved agency, the Congress, and the public – it has enabled significant corruption and dysfunction to take root and flourish in many federal workplaces since 1989.  This has contributed to widespread violation of law, rule, or regulation not under OSC’s jurisdiction in those agencies and great harm to the American public and its health, safety and welfare.

OSC’s failure to comply with its most fundamental duty has been enabled by the failure of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to comply with one of its primary functions – to conduct reviews of OSC and other agencies necessary to report to Congress and the President, per §1204(a)(3), “whether the public interest in a civil service free of prohibited personnel practices is being adequately protected.”  MSPB simply cannot or will not state its judgement on this, something Congress can readily ascertain by asking.

At great personal and professional cost, the loyal, patriotic, public servants whose names appear on this petition have directly borne the costs of OSC and MSPB lawbreaking.  However, every American, indirectly at least, has borne them too.  On behalf of OSC Watch and “the public interest in a civil service free of prohibited personnel practices,” I respectfully submit the OSC Watch Petition to Congress and pray Congress fulfills its Constitutional mandate to conduct the oversight necessary to expose and stop this OSC lawbreaking. 

Respectfully,

Joe Carson, PE

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