Thursday, July 03, 2014

Acting Secretary Gibson Meets with Special Counsel on Whistleblower Protections

The VA issued the following yesterday:

July 2, 2014                             

Acting Secretary Gibson Meets with Special Counsel on Whistleblower Protections

WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson met with Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel of the UnitedStates Office of Special Counsel, following the Office’s letter to the President regarding VA whistleblowers.

Following through on recent recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Acting Secretary committed to VA working to achieve compliance with the OSC 2302 (c) Certification Program, and also reaffirmed his focus on ensuring protection from retaliation for employees who identify or report problems.  Acting Secretary Gibson updated the Special Counsel on the ongoing review of all aspects of the Office of Medical Inspector’s (OMI) operation, which he ordered upon release of the letter.  He reemphasized his commitment to earn the trust of Veterans who VA is privileged to serve.

He also informed the Special Counsel that the Director of OMI has retired from Federal service effective June 30, 2014.

Special Counsel Lerner and Acting Secretary Gibson identified in yesterday’s meeting ways to streamline the organizations’ work together to ensure whistleblower protection during the course of an OSC investigation.

Ms. Leigh Bradley accompanied the Acting Secretary to the meeting. She will be temporarily joining VA beginning Monday, July 7 on a detail from the Department of Defense (DoD) to serve as Special Counsel to the Acting VA Secretary.  Ms. Bradley is a former VA General Counsel, former Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy, and current Director of the Department of Defense Standards of Conduct Office where she is responsible for DoD's ethics program and policies.  She is a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

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