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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 14, 2016.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2016
(Sec. 2) This bill revises whistle-blower protections for a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employee or job applicant who discloses wrongdoing to an appropriate official.
Specifically, it prohibits an FBI or Department of Justice (DOJ) employee from taking or failing to take a personnel action (e.g., demotion) with respect to an FBI employee or applicant because of a protected disclosure. A protected disclosure is a disclosure of information to an appropriate official which an employee or applicant reasonably believes evidences: (1) a violation of a law, rule, or regulation; or (2) waste, fraud, or abuse. The bill expands the list of appropriate officials who may receive a protected disclosure to include a supervisor in an employee's direct chain of command.
Additionally, the bill sets forth procedures for filing, investigating, adjudicating, and reviewing whistle-blower retaliation complaints.
An FBI employee or applicant may file a complaint with DOJ's Office of Inspector General (OIG), which must investigate and decide whether reasonable grounds exist to believe that a prohibited personnel action occurred.
If either party files an objection to the OIG's decision, then an administrative law judge (ALJ) must review it, on the record, and issue a written decision. The ALJ's determination becomes final, unless it is appealed to or reviewed by DOJ. Any ALJ or DOJ determination is subject to judicial review.