It was an upbeat event that praised protectors of the government’s mission, with little mention of the bad actors who tried to sabotage the doctors who did their duty. Positive reinforcement encouraging whistleblowers should be practiced at every agency. But to stop them from facing reprisals, negative reinforcement — meaning disciplinary action — should be taken toward those who retaliate against whistleblowers.
Katherine Mitchell of Phoenix and Phyllis Hollenbeck and Charles Sherwood, both of Jackson, Miss., were honored at the ceremony.
The special counsel and the House Veterans Affairs Committee “did need to protect me,” Hollenbeck told the gathering, “because I like to politely call what I’m on . . . the feces roster of those in charge in Jackson.”
While acknowledging the support of some colleagues during an interview, she added: “As soon as you start to speak up internally, even before you become a whistleblower, you face a lot of reprisals from the get-go.”
Read more in the Federal Diary in Monday’s Washington Post and online at: http://wapo.st/1ythQ1q