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Findings of Whistleblower Retaliation Health Resources and Services Administration 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 the complainant, a former employee at Clinicas Del Camino Real, Inc. (Clinicas), a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grantee. The complainant alleged that while working at Clinicas, the complainant’s immediate supervisor and responsible management official (RMO), the interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), terminated the complainant for asking the interim CEO to follow Clinicas’s fiscal and personnel policies, which the complainant alleged were being violated by the interim CEO and the president of Clinicas’s board of directors (board). The complainant further alleged that they were terminated for submitting a conflict-of-interest complaint to the compliance officer at Clinicas concerning violations of Clinicas’s fiscal and personnel policies committed by the interim CEO and board president. OIG investigators found that the complainant made protected disclosures to the RMO, board president, and compliance officer alleging violations of Clinicas’s fiscal and personnel policies with respect to Federal contracts. OIG investigators further found that the RMO terminated the complainant in retaliation for making these protected disclosures. The OIG investigative report was issued to the Secretary of HHS and included recommendations for making the complainant whole and requiring whistleblower protection training for Clinicas employees, board members, and HRSA employees involved in the health center program.