2302(c) - Frequently Asked Questions

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Q:Is the program voluntary?

A:

The requirement to inform agency employees of the rights and remedies available to them under the PPP and whistleblower provisions of Title 5 is a statutory obligation. 5 U.S.C. § 2302(c)​. In 2014, the White House directed agencies to take affirmative steps to complete OSC’s program.

Q:What are the consequences of failing to comply with the statutory obligation?

A:

​OSC will report annually to Congress on federal agencies’ participation with the 2302(c) Certification Program.​

Q:How do I know if my agency is currently in compliance with OSC’s 2302(c) Certification Program?

A:

OSC maintains lists of registered agencies​ and certified agencies​ on this website. Additionally, you may e-mail 2302c@osc.gov​ or call (703) 466-0259 to discuss what outreach activities your agency is currently engaged in. You will be informed if your agency is in compliance and what, if any, additional actions your agency will need to take to become certified under OSC’s program.​​​

Q:Once I register for the program, how will I know that my agency is in compliance with OSC’s 2302(c) Program?

A:

If you have registered for the program, after completing the five requirements, you will be asked to submit a certificate of compliance form and documentation. After OSC approves the submission, OSC will grant you a certificate of compliance. Additionally, we list certified agencies on OSC's website and report federal agencies' compliance with OSC's 2302(c) Certification Program annually to Congress.​​​​​​

Q:How often will agencies need to be certified as being in compliance with OSC’s 2302(c) Program?

A:

Agencies need to be certified every three years.​​

Q:How often does an agency need to train supervisors on PPPs and the Whistleblower Protection Act/Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (WPA/WPEA)?

A:

​Supervisors need to be trained every three years.​

Q:How often do employees need to be notified of their rights and remedies under the WPA/WPEA?

A:

Employees must be notified annually.​​

Q:Will this program generate frivolous complaints?

A:

Our experience is that agency-wide education programs have not resulted in a substantial increase in the number of complaints filed by employees of that agency, and often, such training helps prevent PPPs from occurring.​

Q:If an agency has employees that are not covered by all Title 5 provisions, will they need to certify under OSC’s program?

A:

Some agencies have federal employees who are only covered by a limited number of Title 5 provisions. If any provisions of the WPA/WPEA cover these employees, the agency is responsible for informing the employees of their rights and responsibilities under the statute, and certifying under the relevant provisions of OSC’s program.​

Q:Is the No FEAR Act training sufficient to meet the supervisory training requirement?

A:

In general, the No FEAR Act training will not be sufficient to meet the supervisory training requirement. The supervisory training should cover all 13 of the PPPs. With respect to PPPs, most No FEAR Act training programs only cover retaliation claims.  

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