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Veterans Crisis Line Badge

Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection

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About Our Office

The Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP) is committed to ensuring accountability within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). OAWP receives and investigates: whistleblower disclosures from VA employees and applicants for VA employment; allegations of misconduct and poor performance against VA senior leaders; and allegations of whistleblower retaliation against VA supervisors. OAWP is also responsible for tracking and confirming VA’s implementation of recommendations from audits and investigations carried out by VA’s Office of Inspector General, VA’s Office of the Medical Inspector, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

OAWP was established by the President of the United States on April 27, 2017, under Executive Order 13793. OAWP was statutorily established by the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, P.L. 115-41, and its functions are codified under 38 U.S.C. § 323.

OAWP is led by Dr. Tamara Bonzanto, the Assistant Secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.  Click here to learn more about OAWP's values. 

What Does OAWP Investigate

Disclosures from any individual alleging:

  • misconduct or poor performance regarding VA senior leaders; or
  • whistleblower retaliation regarding a VA supervisory employee.


Disclosures from VA employees and applicants for VA employment alleging
:

  • a violation of law, rule or regulation;
  • gross mismanagement or gross waste of funds;
  • abuse of authority; or
  • substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.


OAWP directly investigates the above disclosures if they involve a VA senior leader or whistleblower retaliation by a VA supervisory employee. All other disclosures are referred for investigation to another VA investigative entity with oversight provided by OAWP or are closed-out by OAWP, if they fall outside of OAWP’s investigative scope.


Examples of matters referred to another VA investigative entity by OAWP:

  • allegations of leave abuse involving a facility human resources officer: referred to the respective administration for investigation with the investigation overseen by OAWP; and
  • allegations of negligent patient care: referred to VA’s Office of the Medical Inspector for investigation with the investigation overseen by OAWP.


Examples of matters outside of OAWP’s investigative scope:

  • allegations involving crimes (see 38 C.F.R. § 1.204): closed-out by OAWP and transmitted to VA’s Office of Inspector General;
  • allegations involving equal employment opportunity (EEO) discrimination, EEO reprisal, sexual harassment, and hostile work environment (see VA Directive 5977): OAWP notifies the disclosing individual that he or she may contact VA’s Office of Resolution Management.

 

How to Make a Disclosure to OAWP

(Individuals can request anonymity when making a disclosure)


Questions, Concerns, or Looking for More Information About OAWP

  • Call us at: (202) 461-4119
  • Write to us at (note that the delivery of mail is sometimes delayed):


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection
810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Mail Stop 70
Washington, D.C. 20420