Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection
Whistleblower Rights and Protections
VA employees may make whistleblower disclosures to:
- Their supervisory chain or management officials;
- VA's Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection;
- The U.S. Office of Special Counsel;
- VA’s Office of Inspector General; and/or
- Congress, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. § 7211.
VA employees may not be prosecuted or reprised against for disclosing information, as long as the disclosure is permitted by law, to:
- VA's Office of Inspector General; or
- Another investigatory agency.
Learn more about the difference between OAWP, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, VA’s Office of Inspector General, and VA’s Office of Resolution management.
Non-disclosure agreements must include language explaining that the agreement does not limit an employee's ability to make a whistleblower disclosure. Learn more about the language required in a non-disclosure agreement.
Training on Whistleblower and Protections
At VA, we are committed to educating our employees about whistleblower rights and protections. The Assistant Secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower Protection has been delegated the responsibility to develop and implement whistleblower rights and protection training required under 38 U.S.C. § 733 and 5 U.S.C. § 2302(c). A VA Directive regarding mandatory VA-wide training on these topics is in development.
Pending its publication, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has directed Mandatory Training Regarding Whistleblower Rights and Protections:
- All employees to complete mandatory training on whistleblower rights and whistleblower and merit system protections (Talent Management System (TMS) Item No. 39953), Whistleblower Rights and Protections as required under 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 733 and 5 U.S.C. § 2302(c), within 180 calendar days of the issuance of this memorandum. Training may be completed during duty hours, and VA will meet its bargaining unit obligations, as applicable, before implementing training for bargaining unit employees; and
- In addition to the above requirement, all supervisors must complete a mandatory supervisor module (TMS Item No. 39949) Supervisor Whistleblower Rights and Protections within 180 calendar days of the issuance of this memorandum. Mandatory Training Regarding Whistleblower Rights and Protections
- Individuals newly appointed to VA must complete mandatory training on whistleblower rights and protections (TMS Item No. 39953) Whistleblower Rights and Protections within 180 calendar days after appointment. Training may be completed during duty hours. New employees will also be provided with informational materials during new employee orientation or within 180 calendar days after the date of their initial appointment in VA.
- Know Your Rights When Reporting Wrongs
- Your Rights as a Federal Employee
- Individuals newly appointed as supervisors must complete a mandatory supervisor module (TMS Item No. 39949) Supervisor Whistleblower Rights and Protections within 180 days of their appointment to that role.
- Informational posters regarding whistleblower rights and protections must be posted in all personnel and equal employment opportunity offices and prominent locations (e.g., break rooms; employee notice boards) at facilities owned or leased by VA.
- Please direct any questions to OAWPTraining@va.gov.