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The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. OSC's statutory authority comes from four federal laws: the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Hatch Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
OSC's primary mission is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices (PPPs), especially reprisal for whistleblowing. For a description of the 14 PPPs, click here .
OSC also operates as a secure channel for federal employees to blow the whistle by disclosing wrongdoing. Federal law establishes a unique process for disclosures made to OSC, intended to protect the confidentiality of the whistleblower and ensure that the alleged wrongdoing is investigated and, where necessary, corrected. For a description of the six types of covered wrongdoing, click here.
In addition, OSC enforces the Hatch Act, which puts certain restrictions on partisan political activity by government employees (learn more). It also protects the civilian employment and reemployment rights of military service members under USERRA (learn more).