Where Do You Report a Protected Disclosure?

If you are aware of conduct that falls within one of the categories listed in response to the second question “What type of disclosure is protected under Whistleblower Protection Law?” you can report it to the following:

The Inspector General

SSA policy states that SSA employees have a responsibility to report certain types of fraud, waste, abuse, misconduct, or wrongdoing to the OIG, either directly or through an appropriate management official and/or process.  http://policynet.ba.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0204100000

Reporting is easy, safe, and secure. You can reach us by Internet, phone, mail, or fax. 

- Internet: Fraud Reporting Form

- U.S. Mail: Social Security Fraud Hotline

  P.O. Box 17785

  Baltimore, Maryland 21235

- FAX: 410-597-0118

- Telephone: 1-800-269-0271 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

- TTY: 1-866-501-2101 for the deaf or hard of hearing.

 

The Office of Special Counsel

A “protected disclosure” can also be made to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). OSC is an independent Federal agency specifically authorized to review allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse which are made by Federal Employees.

If you wish to file an allegation of wrongdoing with OSC, OSC provides a secure channel through its “Disclosure Unit” for federal workers to disclose information about various workplace improprieties, including a violation of law, rule or regulation, gross mismanagement and waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial danger to public health or safety.  The “Disclosure Unit” will evaluate your allegations to determine if there is a “substantial likelihood” that it falls within one of the five categories and appears to have merit.

  • Allegations of retaliation or other prohibited personnel practices need to be sent to OSC’s Complaints Examining Unit (CEU)

Keep in mind, OSC will generally not consider anonymous disclosures.  If a disclosure is filed by an anonymous source, the disclosure will be referred to the SSA OIG. OSC will take no further action on the disclosure.

OSC looks for reliable, first-hand knowledge, as opposed to unsupported speculation.

If a finding of “substantial likelihood” is made by OSC, they will refer the matter to the SSA Commissioner, and the Commissioner is required to conduct an investigation of the allegations and submit a report back to OSC.  In some cases, the Commissioner may ask the OIG to conduct this investigation. (OSC does not have authority to investigate the disclosures that it receives).

OSC must send the completed agency report, along with the whistleblower’s comments, to the President and to Congressional oversight committees.

If OSC does not make a finding of “substantial likelihood,” they will notify you and direct you to other offices available for receiving and reviewing allegations of alleged waste and fraud, including the OIG.

See the following link for more information about OSC’s Disclosure Unit:  http://www.osc.gov/wbdiscOverview.htm

  • Almost any person who is in a position to take some action with respect to the disclosure.
  • To your supervisor directly, or to any SSA official who has authority or responsibility with respect to the alleged wrongdoing.
  • Members of Congress or to Congressional committees.
  • Officials from the Department of Justice or other law enforcement officials outside of SSA.
  • Members of the media.
  • To the alleged wrongdoer.

[Note:  You do not have to state that you are “seeking” or “asserting” whistleblower status.  If you make a “protected disclosure” to an appropriate entity, you are entitled to whistleblower protection if you are retaliated against for blowing the whistle.]

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