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Findings of Whistleblower Retaliation by Administration for Children and Families Grantee Management Official

The Special Investigations Branch (SIB) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), conducted an investigation in response to allegations brought forth by a complainant at the Orangeburg-Calhoun-Allendale-Bamberg (OCAB) Community Action Agency - Bamberg Head Start Center, an Administration for Children and Families (ACF) grantee. The complainant alleged that, while working in the Bamberg Center, the complainant’s supervisors and responsible management officials (RMOs) terminated the complainant for reporting that Federal grant laws were being repeatedly violated by OCAB staff and management. Specifically, investigators found that the complainant made protected disclosures to the RMOs at OCAB and in a written complainant submitted to ACF’s Office of Head Start alleging what the complainant believed to be grant mismanagement and threats to public health and safety. OIG investigators found that the RMOs terminated the complainant in retaliation for making protected disclosures. The OIG investigative report that was issued to the Secretary of the Department included recommendations to make the complainant whole and to provide whistleblower training for OCAB employees, ACF employees who work in the Head Start program, and Head Start grantee agencies.