After critical audits by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2009 and 2010, the Department of Labor (DOL) is implementing several measures to enhance its Whistleblower Protection Program.

The federal whistleblower provisions consist of 21 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace safety, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.

The program is run by DOL's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As part of the strengthening process, OSHA is restructuring the program. Instead of being housed in the Directorate of Enforcement, the program will now fall directly under the supervision of DOL Assistant Secretary and OSHA Administrator David Michaels.

Whistleblower investigators will also receive additional training, and OSHA is revising and soon will reissue its Whistleblower Investigations Manual.

Finally, the data collection system has been modified to ensure that complaints are handled on a timely basis.

"OSHA is committed to correcting the issues brought to light by the GAO report and our own review," said Assistant Secretary Michaels.