GovernmentExecutive.com reports that President Barack Obama still has not appointed anyone to lead the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The article quotes leaders of a federal employee union, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and former OSC officials who all agree that a new Special Counsel is needed. OSC investigates reports by federal employee whistleblowers, and can intervene to protect their jobs from retaliation. It has been eighteen (18) months since the former Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, was forced out amidst scandal. This protracted time without a permanent leader is unprecedented for OSC. "We need a win for whistleblowers," Brian said, "and we have not had one."
One candidate for Special Counsel, Dave Nolan, has asked the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) for an endorsement, and we gave it. He is currently Legal Director of the Federal Ethics Center, and he has endorsed H.R. 1507, the version of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) that would give federal employees a genuine right to jury trials for whistleblower retaliation claims.