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Response to Senator Schumer's letter dated February 10, 2020

TO: The Honorable Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator and Democratic Leader
FROM: Christopher W. Dentel, Inspector General
SUBJECT: Response to Your Memorandum Dated, February 10, 2020

This office shares your concerns regarding the importance of protecting whistleblowers. In your memorandum you requested information regarding the protections provided to whistleblowers at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). My responses to the three questions set out in your memorandum are as follows:

  1. This office recognizes its statutory responsibility, within this office’s jurisdiction, to investigate any and all instances of alleged retaliation against anyone who has made, or in the future makes, protected disclosures of misconduct to Congress or this office, or another Office of Inspector General.
  2. Personnel at the CPSC were last formally notified by CPSC management of their legal rights to make protected disclosures anonymously and free from reprisals on March 19, 2019. Additionally, information regarding the protections accorded to whistleblowers is also posted on the CPSC Office of Inspector General website and is thus always available to both CPSC employees and the public. I will also note that, in coordination with this office, Office of Special Counsel staff will be onsite at the CPSC to provide live training on management’s responsibility regarding and the rights of whistleblowers on May 12, 2020.
  3. I have discussed with my agency’s General Counsel, John “Gib” Mullan, your concerns that agency management may retaliate or take reprisals against anyone who has, or in the future makes, any protected disclosures of misconduct to Congress or Inspectors General. He has indicated his understanding of the relevant statutes prohibiting such retaliation or reprisals. I have forwarded your request for a written certification of same to agency management for their action.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if I or my staff may be of further assistance.

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