A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that the Office of Special Counsel's backlog of whistleblower and prohibited personnel practices cases almost doubled between 2011 and 2016, even though the OSC has been actively working to reduce it. The GAO notes that the OSC increased the number of employees reviewing the cases and established a unit focusing on hybrid cases involving both a whistleblower disclosure and alleged retaliation. Nevertheless, the approximately 66-percent increase in cases filed since 2011 was enough to overcome those efforts and cause the backlog to increase.
The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) reports that last year they handled the largest number of appeals in almost a decade, as employees contested more personnel decisions. This included actions like negative performance appraisal and denials of step increases on pay rates.
When problems occur within a federal agency, we always hope the culture of the agency supports the reporting of the waste, fraud or gross mismanagement by the employees. A study by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) finds there is still work needed to achieve this goal.