Advocacy Groups Offer VA Whistleblowers a New Outlet

The Phoenix VA Health Care Center has come under scrutiny after allegations of gross mismanagement and neglect. The Phoenix VA Health Care Center has come under scrutiny after allegations of gross mismanagement and neglect. Ross D. Franklin/AP

Many of the developments that ignited the current Veterans Affairs Department firestorm came to light due to employees blowing the whistle on malfeasance.

Two advocacy groups -- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Project on Government Oversight -- have joined forces to provide a new avenue for whistleblowers to come forward.

The organizations have created a website, VAoversight.org, for employees to file reports of wrongdoing at the agency. Joe Newman, a POGO spokesman, said the whistleblowers are not required to identify themselves and the group would work to ensure confidentiality and anonymity for those who seek it.

Ultimately, the groups hope to provide protection, guidance, policy advocacy and, when possible, investigations into the employees’ claims. POGO has a team of a former investigative journalists and others ready to look into the reports it receives.

“We try to help [whistleblowers] navigate those potentially treacherous waters,” Newman said of POGO, which has been involved in whistleblower advocacy for more than three decades. The group has already received four reports on its first day since launching.

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