GAO: Whistleblower inspectors lack training, equipment

September 23, 2010

Investigators of whistleblower complaints lack necessary training and equipment to do their jobs, and OSHA does not have sufficient internal controls to ensure the proper operation of the agency's whistleblower protection program, a Government Accountability Office report (.pdf file) found.

Released Sept. 17, the report recommended OSHA provide mandatory training for investigators and supervisors, track the program's expenses, develop an action plan to address internal control weaknesses, and incorporate the program's goals into the Department of Labor's upcoming five-year strategic plan.

In a statement, OSHA administrator David Michaels said his agency was taking action on many of GAO's recommendations, and OSHA was in the process of a "top-to-bottom" review of the program to make improvements.