The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that a centralized office has been established that will provide independent reviews and decisions on allegations of manager misconduct.
Called The Office of Investigations and Professional Responsibility, the new office also aims to protect whistleblowers and others who come forward with safety concerns.
The new office will support the FAA’s Voluntary Safety Reporting Program which the administration launched in 2021.
According to the FAA, the program provides those who work in the FAA’s Aviation Safety organization with the ability to confidentially report any safety concerns without fear of punitive action. Information shared and submitted via the system is used to validate or verify an aviation safety concern, identify the root cause and determine the appropriate corrective action.
In March 2022, the US Department of Labor took action against a business aviation company that provided false information in order to get a former employee sacked from their new job. This was done as retaliation after the employee in question raised safety concerns.
Investigators from the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that, after the former employee reported safety issues that led to an onsite inspection, the company sent a falsified and negative Pilot Records Improvement Act report to the worker’s new employer, leading to the employee’s dismissal..
The Office of Investigations and Professional Responsibility’s protection for whistleblowers aims to avoid such cases of retaliations.