The Department of Veterans Affairs is reaching out to whistleblowers for a meeting on the challenges they’ve faced when exposing wrongdoing at their facilities, following the establishment of an office to protect whistleblowers.
Whistleblowers Kuauhtemoc Rodriguez from the Phoenix VA and Sean Higgins from the Memphis VA have been contacted by the Central Whistleblower Office for a conference call meeting Friday, which comes just over a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating a new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the VA, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
The purpose of the meeting, according to a Central Whistleblower Office employee, is to get an understanding from the perspective of whistleblowers about how the current disclosure process works and the various “roadblocks” whistleblowers may have faced along the way. The meeting will take place with Harvey Johnson, deputy assistant secretary of the Office of Resolution Management, as well as the implementation team on staff.
VA Secretary David Shulkin has pledged to fight hard against whistleblower retaliation and advocate accountability reforms, which means this meeting is not altogether surprising. For Shulkin, the creation of the new whistleblower office is the first step of the way.
And certainly, both Rodriguez and Higgins have faced their fair share of pushback, following disclosures about untoward activities at their respective facilities. (For more from the author of “Va Asks for Meeting With Whistleblowers to Find out How They Face Retaliation” please click HERE)