Trump’s Whistleblower Protection Office Didn’t Shield Sources, Inspector General Says

According to the blistering report, the office failed to push out poorly performing senior officials, did not conduct accurate or unbiased investigations and may not have protected identities of people who reported waste or harm to veterans.

An NPR investigation published last year revealed how VA whistleblowers confronted an entrenched management culture that routinely used fear and intimidation to prevent potential whistleblowers from talking.

The office, the report says, would only open a case if a whistleblower was willing to reveal his or her identity, which created a chilling effect on future whistleblowers who feared reprisal if their name was attached to a complaint.

At least once, individuals attempting to raise concerns about senior managers found themselves the target of a probe by the office.

NPR has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the whistleblower office. The suit, now pending before a federal judge in California, seeks to shed light on how and why the department set up to help whistleblowers has failed so many of them.

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