This is an update to our post of April 23, 2011 re; Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to obtain information on No Fear Act reports to Congress. The reply from the Office of the Inspector General (IG) for all operational divisions is nauseating! The federal agency responsible for the health care of all Americans has flown under the radar for 10 years, violating federal law.
As the above letter articulated, the IG conducted a thorough search and found no records. This means that HHS has provided zero reports to Congress in defiance of federal law; The Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 commonly known as the No Fear Act.
This law seeks to discourage federal managers and supervisors from engaging in unlawful discrimination and retaliation. Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is a champion for the civil rights of federal workers. Her case is the seed that planted the tree on this law.
A lay persons explanation of what is required under the law can be found here on Wikipedia and below. No-FEAR_Act
The main provision of the No-FEAR Act, Section 201, is to require federal agencies to pay awards for discrimination and retaliation violations out of their own budgets. They are required to reimburse the General Fund of the Treasury within a reasonable time of any such award.
Section 202 requires notification to all federal employees and applicants for employment about their rights under federal law. Such notification is now made on the Internet. All federal agencies are also required to provide training to all their employees about their rights and remedies under antidiscrimination and anti-retaliation laws.
Finally, Section 203 requires annual reports from each agency stating:
(1) the number of discrimination and retaliation cases filed against the agency;
(2) the status of those cases;
(3) the amount of money the agency must pay in connection with each case, stating separately the amount for the payment of attorneys’ fees, if any;
(4) the number of employees disciplined for discrimination, retaliation, harassment, or any other infraction of antidiscrimination and retaliation laws;
(5) equal employment opportunity data;
(6) the agency’s policy on disciplinary actions against Federal employees who discriminate or retaliate, and the number of employees who are disciplined in accordance with such policy and the specific nature of the disciplinary action taken;
(7) an analysis of the information including—
(A) an examination of trends;
(B) causal analysis;
(C) practical knowledge gained through experience; and
(D) any actions planned or taken to improve complaint or civil rights programs of the agency; and
(8) any adjustment to comply with the requirements under section 201.
The Act also permits rule-making, and requires studies of retaliation and discrimination by federal agencies.
We note our fellow advocate site MSPBWatch has posted the story and letter from HHS. foia-u-s-department-of-health-and-human-services-is-in-violation-of-the-no-fear-act-of-2002