A recently issued report and letter from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) implies that there are serious safety deficiencies within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The “findings” of OSC sound suspect for the following reasons.
First, the eight issues specifically mentioned as OSC findings are complex technical and operational issues needing expert analysis to determine validity, level of risk and how best to resolve. What to a non technical person may seem to be unresponsiveness could well be just sound technical judgment.
In April, 2008, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee held hearings on several Whistleblower complaints about FAA-airline interactions. In response to the 2008 hearing, FAA set up a formal system, which was widely advertised throughout the workforce, to address whistleblower complaints. FAA then created an independent Audit & Evaluation Office, reporting directly to the FAA Administrator and hired, as Office Director, the Congressional staffer who organized the 2008 hearings.
The sole purpose of this office is to ensure that safety complaints from both inside and outside the agency are independently investigated in a fair and timely manner and that they receive proper consideration. The office coordinates with audits and investigations conducted by outside offices, including the Government Accountability Office, the Office of the Special Counsel, and the Transportation Department’s Inspector General.
Given the above, a letter from the OSC that that finds FAA to be non responsive to whistleblower safety issues does not calibrate considering the programs and processes the FAA put in place.Share this article: