POGO just received a letter from Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) Director Robert Bray in response to our November 25th letter in which we raised concerns about the agency's treatment of whistleblowers.
While POGO was pleased to hear that FAMS supervisors are receiving training on whistleblower protections, and that there are a number of initiatives in place to reach out to federal air marshals for input, Bray did not respond to our recommendation to “rehire and make whole those federal air marshals who improperly lost their jobs after disclosing incidents of workplace wrongdoing but who still would like to come back and continue to support FAMS' mission.”
This includes former federal air marshal Robert MacLean, and security assistant Richard Hoskins, whose experiences we recently highlighted in Breaking the Sound Barrier: Experiences of Air Marshals Confirm Need for Reform at the OSC.
Bray did, however, respond to POGO's critique of his Deputy Director's efforts to insulate Bray from correspondence with his employees. He pointed out that “managing the flow of information is crucial” at a large agency such as FAMS, and argued that we are being unfair in focusing so much on this one incident. Nevertheless, we remain concerned that the Deputy Director appears to have a policy of sheltering Bray from complaints raised by current and former employees. Somehow this doesn't quite seem to support Bray's earlier claim that “FAMS leadership has been engaging with our frontline workforce and maintaining regular dialogues with air marshals.”
-- Ingrid Drake