2302(c) Certification Program Information
Congress enacted 5 U.S.C. § 2302(c) in response to reports of limited understanding in the federal workforce concerning employees’ right to be free from prohibited personnel practices (PPPs), especially retaliation for whistleblowing. Section 2302(c) requires agency heads to ensure, in consultation with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), that employees are informed of the rights and remedies available to them under the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA), the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), and related laws. In 2002, OSC established a “2302(c) Certification Program” to provide agencies and agency components with a process for meeting this statutory requirement. In 2014, the White House directed agencies to take affirmative steps to complete OSC’s program.
In accordance with a February 2014
memorandum from the White House’s Chief Technology Officer and the White House’s 2013
second Open Government National Action Plan, agencies must establish a plan for completing OSC’s 2302(c) Certification Program. Final plans must be posted on agency websites by June 1, In developing a plan for certification, agency “Senior Accountable Government Officials” may wish to coordinate with their agency’s OIG Whistleblower Ombudsperson program. The whistleblower ombudsperson programs also have subject matter expertise in this area.
Certification Program Overview
OSC’s 2302(c) Certification Program allows federal agencies to meet the statutory obligation to inform their workforces about the rights and remedies available to them under the CSRA, the WPA, and the WPEA, as well as to meet the requirements of the second Open Government National Action Plan.
Most agencies should be able to complete the certification process within six months of registering. We are committed to assisting all federal agencies with meeting the requirements of 5 U.S.C. § 2302(c).
The 2302(c) Certification Program consists of 3 steps: (1) registration, (2) completion of the five requirements, and (3) request for certification.
STEP 1: Start the certification process by submitting the registration form.
STEP 2: Complete the following five certification requirements:
Place informational posters at agency facilities
Provide information about the 13 PPPs and whistleblower disclosures to new employees as part of the orientation process
Provide information to current employees about the 13 PPPs and whistleblower disclosures
Train supervisors on the 13 PPPs and whistleblower disclosures
Display a link to OSC’s website on the agency’s website or intranet
STEP 3: Request certification by submitting the compliance form and supporting documentation. If all requirements have been met, OSC will issue the agency’s certification.
For more information on the five requirements, see the
2302(c) Process page. For information specific to government corporations, see the
2302(c) for Government Corporations page.