What Happens After a Charge is Filed With The PAB/OGC?
First, the PAB/OGC will notify GAO’s Office of General
Counsel that a charge has been filed and provide them with a copy of
the charge. The charging party will receive a letter acknowledging
receipt of the charge and providing the charging party a copy of the
letter sent to the Agency.
The PAB General Counsel will assign the charge to one
of the attorneys on his/her staff for investigation.
The attorney will contact the charging party shortly after the charge
is filed and may ask for additional information regarding the charge. During
the investigation of the charge, the PAB/OGC acts as an independent investigator. In
other words, the PAB/OGC does not represent the charging party when
the charge is initially filed with PAB/OGC or during the investigation
of the charge.
However, a charging party is entitled to be represented by an attorney
at her/his own cost during the PAB/OGC investigative process.
GAO will provide PAB/OGC relevant documents within
20 days of its receipt of our notification to them that a charge has
been filed. The PAB/OGC attorney may contact GAO and request additional documents.
Upon completion of the investigation, a brief report summarizing the facts
obtained and conclusions reached in the investigation and a Right to Petition
Letter is mailed to the charging party. The report sets forth the results of the investigation
conducted by the PAB/OGC and is not a decision of a PAB administrative
judge. Only the charging party will receive a copy of the report.
If the PAB/OGC determines that there are reasonable
grounds to believe GAO committed a prohibited personnel practice, PAB/OGC
will offer to represent the charging party in a hearing before the Personnel
Appeals Board. The charging party is not required to accept PAB/OGC’s
representation offer and instead, may represent himself/herself or may
choose someone else to represent him/her at his/her own expense. Please
see Guide to Practice for guidance on filing
a Petition with the Personnel Appeals Board.
If PAB/OGC does not offer representation, the charging
party may file a Petition with Personnel Appeals Board. For more information
on filing a Petition, please see Guide to Practice.
If the PAB/OGC has not completed its investigation
or issued a Right to Appeal Letter within 180 days of the date the charge
was filed with PAB/OGC, the charging party may forego the PAB/OGC investigative
process and file a Petition directly with the Personnel Appeals Board.