Army Corps employee receives whistleblower award

The Office of Special Counsel announced the creation of an award program for federal whistleblowers Tuesday and will honor an Army Corps of Engineers employee as its first recipient. The Office of Special Counsel, the independent agency responsible for investigating whistleblower complaints, will honor Donald C. Sweeney with the first Special Counsel's Public Servant Award. Sweeney, a Corps economist, accused top agency officials in February 2000 of rigging data in a cost-benefit analysis of navigation improvements to the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. In November 2000, the Army inspector general substantiated Sweeney's allegations that Corps officials manipulated data to justify the project's $1 billion price tag. Last month, the National Academy of Sciences released a report that also concluded the Corps had used flawed data in its analysis. "Dr. Sweeney and other federal employee whistleblowers like him deserve this special recognition because they embody the finest tradition of federal employment; their first loyalty is not to themselves or to any institution, but instead to the public they serve," said Special Counsel Elaine Kaplan. The Special Counsel established the award program to recognize federal employees who blow the whistle-often at personal risk-on gross mismanagement within federal agencies and other serious abuses committed by government officials. The award is a nonmonetary, merit-based honor that recognizes the whistleblower's contributions to the public interest. In choosing award recipients, the Office of Special Counsel will consider several factors, including: the impact of the whistleblower's disclosure on the public interest; benefits to the government arising from the disclosure; strong substantiation of the allegations; and the risk taken by the employee in disclosing information.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.