Alternative Referral Process
There are two other circumstances in which the Special Counsel may refer a case to the head of an agency.
Under the law which gives OSC its authority (5 U.S.C. § 1213g), the Special Counsel may choose to refer a case to an agency head, even if she does not make a determination of “substantial likelihood.” The Special Counsel also may refer a case to an agency head, even if the individual alleging the wrongdoing worked in a different federal agency than the agency in which the alleged wrongdoing occurred, or if the employee did not learn of the wrongdoing in connection with their job.
In these exceptional cases, the Special Counsel has the discretion to transmit the information provided by the whistleblower to the head of the relevant agency. In such a case, the whistleblower would be informed of this action by the Special Counsel. The agency head is then required to inform OSC in writing, within a reasonable time, what action has been or will be taken, and when such action will be completed.