U.S. Office of Special Counsel

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal agency that receives, investigates, and prosecutes allegations of prohibited personnel practices. OSC emphasizes protecting federal employees who wish to disclose violations of laws, gross mismanagement or waste of funds, abuse of authority, and a specific danger to the public health and safety. In addition, OSC enforces and provides advisory opinions regarding the Hatch Act (political activity), and protects the rights of federal employee military veterans and reservists under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.


Who May Report


Current and former federal employees and applicants for federal employment may report suspected prohibited personnel practices to the OSC.


Procedure for Reporting


Complaints of prohibited personnel practices or other prohibited activities within the investigative authority of the Special Counsel (including complaints of political activities prohibited by 5 U.S.C. 7321-7324) should be sent to the Office of Special Counsel, Complaints Examining Unit, 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036-4505.

When you file a complaint with the OSC, the Complaints Examining Unit initially analyzes the complaint to determine if it contains evidence of prohibited personnel practices. After a thorough investigation, the CEU refers matters deemed valid to the Investigation Division. That division reviews pertinent records and interviews complainants and witnesses. You will receive 60-day status notices. Matters not resolved during the investigative phase are referred to the Prosecution Division for legal review and analysis. It determines whether the Investigation Division inquiry has established a violation of law, rule or regulation, and whether the matter warrants corrective action, disciplinary action or both.


OSC seeks corrective action remedies (such as back pay and reinstatement), by negotiation or from the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), for injuries suffered by whistleblowers and other complainants. OSC is also authorized to file complaints at the MSPB to seek disciplinary action against individuals who commit prohibited personnel actions.


Contact Information


For more information you may call the CEU at 1-800- 572-2249 or (202) 653-9125 or go to the OSC website at http://www.osc.gov/index.htm.