Tag Archive: Office of Special Counsel

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) investigates allegations of prohibited personnel practices.

Download Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPP) Complaint Form (OSC-11).  This form can also be used to
complain retaliation for whistleblowing.

The following practices are prohibited by the federal government agencies under the Prohibited
Personnel Practices
(PPP) Act:

(1) discriminate against an employee or applicant based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
age, handicapping condition, marital status, or political affiliation;  

Although OSC is authorized to investigate discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national
origin, age, or handicapping condition, as well as reprisal for filing an
EEO complaint, OSC generally defers
such allegations to agency procedures established under regulations issued by the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 5 C.F.R. § 1810.1.  (This deferral policy does not apply to discrimination
claims outside the jurisdiction of the EEOC, such as complaints alleging discrimination based upon marital
status or political affiliation.) (See http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm#q10.)

Filing a complaint with OSC will not relieve you of the obligation to file a complaint with the agency’s EEO
office within the time prescribed by EEOC regulations (at 29 C.F.R. Part 1614).
(2) solicit or consider employment recommendations based on factors other than personal knowledge
or records of job-related abilities or characteristics;

(3) coerce the political activity of any person;

(4) deceive or willfully obstruct anyone from competing for employment;

(5) influence anyone to withdraw from competition for any position so as to improve or injure the
employment prospects of any other person;

(6) give an unauthorized preference or advantage to anyone so as to improve or injure the employment
prospects of any particular employee or applicant;

(7) engage in nepotism (i.e., hire, promote, or advocate the hiring or promotion of relatives);

(8) engage in reprisal for whistleblowing – i.e., take, fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take a
personnel action with respect to any employee or applicant because of any disclosure of information by
the employee or applicant that he or she reasonably believes evidences a violation of a law, rule or
regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and
specific danger to public health or safety (if such disclosure is not barred by law and such information is
not specifically required by Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the
conduct of foreign affairs – if so restricted by law or Executive Order, the disclosure is only protected if
made to the Special Counsel, the Inspector General, or comparable agency official);

In order to allege retaliation arising from whistleblowing, you must first blow the whistle–that is, you must
make the “disclosure” of agency’s wrongful acts.  See more on

Download OSC-11 form: prohibited personnel practice complaint form or whistleblower
retaliation complaint form.

Download OSC-12 form: whistleblower disclosure form.

(9) take, fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take a personnel action against an employee or
applicant for exercising an appeal, complaint, or grievance right; testifying for or assisting another in
exercising such a right; cooperating with or disclosing information to the Special Counsel or to an
Inspector General; or refusing to obey an order that would require the individual to violate a law;

(10) discriminate based on personal conduct which is not adverse to the on-the-job performance of an
employee, applicant, or others; or

(11) take or fail to take, recommend, or approve a personnel action if taking or failing to take such an
action would violate a veterans’ preference requirement; and

(12) take or fail to take a personnel action, if taking or failing to take action would violate any law, rule or
regulation implementing or directly concerning merit system principles at 5 U.S.C. § 2301.

(Obtained from http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm#q1)  

OSC receives, investigates, and prosecutes allegations of PPPs, with an emphasis on protecting federal government
whistleblowers.  OSC seeks corrective action remedies (such as back pay and reinstatement), by negotiation or from
the Merit Systems Protection Board (
MSPB), for injuries suffered by whistleblowers and other complainants.  OSC is
also authorized to file complaints at the MSPB to seek disciplinary action against individuals who commit PPPs.

All statements contained in this page are subject to change and update.  EEO 21 does not take responsibility for any
errors or misrepresentation contained therein.

OSC Watch <www.oscwatch. org> is focused on
exposing and stopping systemic and persistent
lawbreaking in US Office of Special Counsel
(OSC). OSC Watch contends that OSC, since at
least 1989, has fundamentally failed to comply
with its most important nondiscretionary duty to
enforce the civil service laws, rules, and
regulations under its (frequently sole)
jurisdiction. OSC Watch contends that OSC, in
investigating about 30,000 complaints since 1989
of violations of law, rule, or regulation under
its jurisdiction, has failed to investigate the
complaint, determine whether there is reasonable
cause to believe violations occurred, and, if so,
to report them to the involved agency head, per 5
U.S.C. 1214(e), and create a permanent, public
record of its report and the agency response, per 5 U.S.C. 1219.

OSC, contrary to the clear wording of the law,
its legislative history, and a final decision of
a federal court – all of which state that 5
U.S.C. 1214(e) applies to ANY law, rule, or
regulations, including those within OSC’s
jurisdiction, still openly holds to its
self-nullifying interpretation of the law it is
charged to implement, that it does not apply to
laws, rules, or regulations under its jurisdiction.

OSC is the “immune system” of the Executive
Branch agencies – it has jurisdiction for the
laws, rules, and regulations that uphold the
merit principles of the federal civil service,
particularly to prevent agency retribution
against concerned federal employees. Because it
has nullified the law – 5. U.S.C. 1214(e) – that
is the heart of its obligations to do so, by its
untenable claim that it does not apply to the
laws, rules, and regulations under its
jurisdiction, OSC is a broken “immune
system.” As a result, the merit principles of
the federal civil service are battered, much
corruption and dysfunction in many federal
workplaces has taken root and flourished, leading
to violations of laws, rules, and regulations not
under OSC’s jurisdiction in those agencies, such
as the possible politically motivated prosecutions at Department of Justice.

OSC Watch has been in contact with Alabama Gov.
Siegelman, “Exhibit A” of possibly politically
motivated prosecutions by the Department of
Justice, and the House Judiciary Committee about
its concerns that OSC’s lawbreaking, resulting
from its interpretation of 5 U.S.C. 1214(e), is a
significant part of the context in which the
abuses in the Department of Justice occurred.

The following recent press release of the House
Judiciary Committee is relevant to OSC Watch’s
concerns that OSC’s fundamental failure to
implement the law to enforce the laws under its
jurisdiction has contributed to corruption in the Department of Justice.

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U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jonathan Godfrey
http://judiciary. house.gov/ newscenter. aspx?A=955

April 17, 2008
Melanie Roussell

(Washington, DC)- Today, House Judiciary
Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and
Committee Members Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Artur
Davis (D-AL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced
three critical actions in the Committee’s
investigation into allegations of selective or
poltiically- motivated prosecution in the Justice
Department. The Members today invited Karl Rove
to testify before the committee; urged the
Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector
General and Office of Professional Responsibility
to investigate those allegations; and demanded
that Attorney General Michael Mukasey provide
additional documents on this subject.

Today’s actions result from the Committee’s
majority staff report, also released today, which
details the cases, interviews and documents they
have reviewed since the Committee began its investigation last year.

“There continue to be numerous complaints of
selective or politically motivated prosecution
since our investigation began last year,” Conyers
said. “The actions we are taking today, including
calling Karl Rove to testify, are an effort to
get to the bottom of this matter.”

Today’s announcement stems from the Committee’s
2007 oversight hearing on selective prosecution,
during which testimony was heard and documents
were entered into the record regarding cases from
Alabama, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Georgia, and
Pennsylvania. Since the hearing, majority
committee staff has continued its investigation
with interviews and document collection about
additional cases across the country.

“While this report is extensive and significant
progress has been made in our investigation, many
facts remain unknown,” Conyers said. “The Justice
Department has simply not been forthcoming and I
feel the only way to move this investigation
forward is to seek further independent
investigation and testimony from Karl Rove, who
appears to be the missing link in a chain from
the White House to the Justice Department.”

The letters and the majority staff report are
available at <http://judiciary. house.gov/ Printshop. aspx?Section= 833>.

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