Special advocate pays tribute to whistleblower who exposed debt collection default

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The Office of Special Counsel honored with its annual public service award a whistleblower – who remains anonymous – who exposed an issue that had left nearly $ 92 million in debt owed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration .

The disclosure involved some 11,000 fines owed by employers for workplace safety violations that had been referred to the treasury for collection on behalf of OSHA, but which had not been collected due to a software flaw. After the OSC returned the disclosure to Treasury and Labor, those departments not only confirmed the allegations, but also found that the problem affected debt collection by the Treasury for 12 other agencies, the OSC said.

This resulted in “significant corrective actions to resolve the software issue and recover funds owed to the government,” the OSC said. “Because of the actions of this brave whistleblower, millions of dollars are being returned to the government for the full benefit of US taxpayers. “

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