Rarely do we hear from executive branch management about the problems they see on the inside, such as abuses of power and whistleblower retaliation. That is why we are so excited that Matt Issman, then-senior manager at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement at DHS, has publicly spoken out about what he observed when several federal air marshals tried to raise concerns about fraud, waste, and abuse at their agency, including safety and security vulnerabilities.
Not only does Issman call out the witch-hunt investigations the federal air marshals were subjected to by then-Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) Thomas Quinn, which POGO explored in its report Breaking the Sound Barrier: Experiences of Air Marshals Confirm Need for Reform at the OSC, but he also recommends that Congress ensure that the air marshals' recommendations are implemented at FAMS and that they get their jobs back.
Tomorrow, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will have a hearing on "Protecting the Public from Waste, Fraud and Abuse: The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009." We hope the Department of Justice witness will announce what the Obama administration's new policy will be and how it will address the gaping holes in protections for federal employees, including national security employees.
-- Ingrid Drake