The Washington Post reported officials in the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General have systematically ignored Pentagon rules provided to protect those responsible of reporting fraud, abuses and the waste of taxpayer money.
A nonprofit watchdog group, Project on Government Oversight, obtained the May 2011 report under the Freedom of Information Act.
The document was based on an investigation that evaluated the performance of the Inspector General’s Directorate for Military Reprisal Investigations. The report disclosed that the directorate frequently disregarded evidence of grave punishments against those in the service who complained.
The reprisals contained demotions, threatened or real discharges, dismissals, trial and mental health referrals.
The investigating team argued the office’s plans to disregard more than half of the 152 cases it studied, and urged it to improve its procedures and start implementing the protective regulations.
Following the report, Marguerite C. Garrison, the Defense Department’s deputy inspector general for administrative investigations, reorganized the office last year and began a revamp of its manual.
However, independent experts voiced doubts about the effectiveness of the move.
“This devastating report proves one of our worst fears - that military whistleblowers have systematically been getting a raw deal,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight.