Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
What legal pitfalls await feds in 2012?
Thursday - 1/12/2012, 12:52pm EST
"The biggest change that's already happened, it happened in 2011, was the appointment of Carolyn Lerner as the special counsel," said Bill Bransford, a partner at Shaw, Bransford and Roth. "There seems to be a breath of fresh air. The employees are energized that work in the Special Counsel's Office, and I expect to see greater strides ahead in whistleblower protection.
Of even more importance, Bransford told The Federal Drive with Tom Temin, is the apparent bipartisan agreement in Congress that whistleblower protection needs to be improved.
Bill Bransford, a partner at Shaw, Bransford and Roth (SB&R photo)
"A lot of federal managers have had a little bit of holiday from having to worry about the oversight of the Office of Special Counsel or seriously having to deal with complaints of whistleblower reprisals," he said. "That's going to change."
With 2012 being an election year, it's also a good time for feds to bone up on the Hatch Act, the law that restricts on-the-job political activities of federal employees. The Office of the Special Counsel, which enforces the law, is a good resource for new employees who have questions about what they can and cannot do in the workplace. Information can be found at OSC.gov.
"For example, you shouldn't come into the office wearing a T-shirt supporting a particular presidential candidate," Bransford said. "One of the more arcane rules is you're allowed to have a bumper sticker on your car if you drive it to work, but if you use that car in the course of the business of the day, you have to cover the bumper sticker."
Bransford added that many federal employees get themselves in trouble by forwarding email concerning political activity, which is not permitted. "You are allowed to participate in political activity off duty," he said. "You are allowed to support candidates."