Obama Releases Memo Allowing Firing of Employees without Appeal

Monday, March 04, 2013

Whistleblowers could be discouraged from exposing government wrongdoing by a proposed rule that would allow the firing of federal employees—whose work is deemed national security-related—without appeal.


The change, issued late last month by the White House, could impact thousands of workers and result in making government less transparent and free from corruption, critics charged.


The presidential order was issued on January 25, the day after a federal appeals court panel set aside a 2012 court decision, in the case of Berry v. Conyers, giving the government broad authority to remove employees from “sensitive” jobs without appeal.


An unidentified administration official told Bloomberg that the timing of the White House memo and the court ruling were coincidental.


Since Obama took office in 2009, the government has indicted six federal employees under the Espionage Act—which is more prosecutions targeting leaks of sensitive information than all other previous administrations combined.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Obama Memo on ‘Sensitive’ Jobs Stirs Whistle-Blower Fears (by Margaret Talev, Bloomberg)

Presidential Memorandum -- Rulemaking Concerning the Standards for Designating Positions in the Competitive Service as National Security Sensitive and Related Matters (The White House)

Obama Threat to Whistleblower Protections Triggers Alarm in Congress (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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