Senator Carper Highlights Support for Nominees to the Office of Special Counsel and Merit Systems Protection Board

Today at a nominations hearing in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the committee, heard from Hampton Y. Dellinger, nominee to serve as Special Counsel within the Office of Special Counsel, and Henry J. Kerner, nominee to be a Member of the Merit Systems Protection Board.

During the hearing, Senator Carper emphasized the critical work of the Office of Special Counsel in safeguarding federal employees and embracing a culture of customer service:

“I believe in improving customer service and making government more accessible to the people that we serve. Whether it’s expanding access to taxpayer services, […] or improving services at our Division of Motor Vehicles […], our constituents need to know that our government is responsive to them and their needs. I think the Office of Special Counsel is no different. And while your customers may be whistleblowers, or civil service employees, your office has a responsibility to intake complaints efficiently and effectively.”

Senator Carper also called attention to the important work that lies ahead for the Merit Systems Protection Board, especially recent progress that the Board has made in reducing its unprecedented backlog: 

“The Merit Systems Protection Board, […] went nearly five years without a quorum – significantly hampering its ability to function and to process cases. And during this time, the backlog grew to an unprecedented level. I’m told [it was] more than 3,500 cases, which is a lot of cases. Justice delayed is justice denied, and we need a functioning and effective Board to safeguard the civil service and protect our federal employees.”

A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here.