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. 

  • Then 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.

  • PAB/OGC will investigate the matters raised in the charge, which may include requesting information from GAO. 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. The Board is not advised of PAB/OGC’s determination. 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 still file a Petition with the 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 Petition 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.