U.S. OFFICE OF SPECIAL
COUNSEL REORGANIZES TO CUT RED TAPE AND PROVIDE MORE EFFICIENT SERVICE TO
WHISTLEBLOWERS AND OTHER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 6/4/01
CONTACT: JANE MCFARLAND
Effective today, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has significantly revamped its investigative and prosecutorial functions. Under the reorganization, OSCís investigation and prosecution functions have been merged into three parallel Investigation and Prosecution Divisions (IPD).
Each IPD will be responsible for fully integrated investigative fact gathering and legal analysis. Investigators and attorneys will be working jointly, in teams, reporting to the same Associate Special Counsel. The reorganization will significantly delayer management review of staff work and the joint attorney and investigator team responsibility should result in case-handling efficiencies.
In the past, OSC has processed prohibited personnel practice complaints under a three-tier system. Under the old system, if OSCís intake unit determined that a prohibited personnel practice may have taken place, the matter was referred to the Investigation Division. After the investigation was completed, the investigative findings were sent to the Prosecution Division for legal analysis. Under the new system, OSCís intake unit and Hatch Act Unit will refer matters to the new IPDs.
Special Counsel Elaine Kaplan hailed the reorganization: ďThis is the most significant internal change Iíve made during my tenure at OSC, and it was long-considered. We are trying to shed some bureaucratic mechanisms that donít necessarily help us get to the best, quickest resolution to peopleís cases. We want to try this new more streamlined approach to see if we can improve both workflow and its quality. I believe that the team approach will foster thorough investigations and high-quality legal analyses and give us more bang for our buck.Ē
While a new organization chart is available at OSCís web site at www.osc.gov/orgchart.htm, the three IPDs are organized as follows: IPD I will be led by Associate Special Counsel William E. Reukauf. OSCís San Francisco Bay Area field office will be part of this division, as will OSCís Hatch Act Unit. Associate Special Counsel Ruth Robinson Ertel will lead IPD II and OSCís Dallas field office will be included in this division. Associate Special Counsel Cary P. Sklar will lead IPD III and OSCís Alternative Dispute Resolution program will be included in this division.
OSC is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency whose primary mission is to guard against prohibited personnel practices, with special emphasis on protecting government whistleblowers. OSCís new streamlined procedures will also apply to Hatch Act matters enforced by the agency.