Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Regulations Governing Filing of Complaints of Prohibited Personnel Practices or other Prohibited Activities, and Filing Disclosures of Information

​​SUMMARY 

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) proposes to revise its regulations regarding the filing of complaints and disclosures with OSC, and also to update the prohibited personnel practice provisions. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and implementing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, OSC has also requested approval from OMB for a new, dynamic electronic form to be used for filing complaints and disclosures. This new form will replace Forms OSC-11, OSC-12, and OSC-13, which were previously approved by OMB. Access to the new electronic form relevant to this proposed rule has been submitted to the OMB for review.

The proposed rule makes minor changes to the existing language in 5 CFR 1800.1(c)(1) through (5) and (d), and 1800.2(b)(1) and (2) by replacing references to, and information about, the old OSC forms with references to, and information about, forms established by OSC. The language in the proposed rule refers to forms established by OSC, and it covers the new form that OSC submitted to OMB for approval. The proposed rule will enable us to revise our forms in the future, while still providing for public notice and OMB's review of future revisions. The proposed rule also updates the prohibited personnel practice provisions, at 5 CFR 1800.1(a)(13), based on the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(13) regarding nondisclosure forms, policies, or agreements. Comments are invited on the proposed rule and the new form.

OSC is an independent agency responsible for, among other things, (1) investigation of allegations of prohibited personnel practices defined by law at 5 U.S.C. 2302(b), protection of whistleblowers, and certain other illegal employment practices under titles 5 and 38 of the U.S. Code, affecting current or former Federal employees or applicants for employment, and covered state and local government employees; and (2) the interpretation and enforcement of Hatch Act provisions on political activity in chapters 15 and 73 of title 5 of the U.S. Code.

The new form can be reviewed at: https://dev.osc.gov/pages/osctest.aspx​ 

Regarding the new form, comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of OSC functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of OSC’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Estimated Average Amount of Time for a Person To Respond Using Form OSC-14: For prohibited personnel practice allegations, one hour and 15 minutes; for whistleblower disclosures, one hour; and for Hatch Act allegations, 30 minutes to complete the form in each of the years covered by this request. These estimates are based on testing completed by OSC employees during the development of the collection form.

Affected Public: Current and former Federal employees, applicants for Federal employment, state and local government employees, and their representatives, and the general public.

Please see OSC's September 2, 2016 notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register for more information.​

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING COMMENTS 

Written or electronic comments must be received on or before November 1, 2016. 

HOW TO SUBMIT COMMENTS 

You may submit comments by any of the following ​​methods: 

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: ​

       http://www.regulations.gov​. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

• Email: ​​

       Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, by email via: oira_submissions@omb.eop.gov; or to

• Mail: ​​

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget,
Attention: Desk Officer for OSC
New Executive Office Building
Room 10235
Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

Kenneth Hendricks, Associate General Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel, by telephone at 202-254-3600, by facsimile at (202) 254-3711, or by email at khendricks@osc.gov (please include "Form 14/Proposed Rule" in the subject line). Also, please see OSC's September 2, 2016 notice of proposed rulemaking​ in the Federal Register for more information.​