For Immediate Release
September 17, 2009
Contact: Les Dorr, Jr. or Alison Duquette
Phone: (202) 267-3883
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new Office of Audit and Evaluation is the focal point for public safety complaints and whistleblower contributions. It also handles relations with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.
The new office improves the FAA’s ability to conduct candid self-examinations in aviation safety matters and questionable personnel practices. The office’s goal is to manage complaints and audits more effectively, making sure they receive the necessary consideration and coordination and are acted on in a timely manner.
The office also will help FAA managers and employees resolve workplace conflicts, but it is not a substitute for existing equal opportunity, grievance or FAA Accountability Board processes.
The director of the office reports to the FAA Chief Counsel, but will always have direct access to the FAA Administrator as well.
Consolidating Reporting Avenues
The new Audit and Evaluation office will accept and coordinate action on reports from established sources that previously were handled by different areas in the FAA:
- Administrator’s Hotline — Gives FAA employees a way to get high-level management attention for concerns unresolved by established procedures.
- Aviation Safety Hotline — Provides an outlet for anyone to express concerns about unsafe aviation situations without fear of reprisal.
- Public Inquiry Hotline — Responds and refers inquiries from the public about aviation matters.
- Whistleblower Protection Hotline — Coordinates with the Department of Labor on safety disclosures made by private-sector aviation workers, including government contractors.
- Safety Issues Reporting System — Established in April 2008, allows Office of Aviation Safety employees to report safety issues they believe have not been addressed by other FAA processes.
How It Works
The Audit and Evaluation office monitors the thoroughness and good faith of the investigation of reports. The organization conducts an initial review of disclosures, enters them in a tracking system and tasks the appropriate office to lead the investigation and settle the matter within a specified time. Audit and Evaluation keeps tabs on the progress of investigations and ensures the results are properly reported to the FAA Administrator.
Audit and Evaluation also serves as the FAA’s primary liaison for audits and investigations on aviation matters conducted by the Transportation Department’s Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.