(b)Head of Office.—
The head of the Office shall be responsible for the functions of the Office and shall be appointed by the President pursuant to section 308(a) of this title.
(1) The functions of the Office are as follows:
Issuing reports and providing recommendations related to the duties described in subparagraph (A).
Receiving whistleblower disclosures.
Referring whistleblower disclosures received under subparagraph (C) for investigation to the Office of the Medical Inspector, the Office of Inspector General, or other investigative entity, as appropriate, if the Assistant Secretary has reason to believe the whistleblower disclosure is evidence of a violation of a provision of law, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
Recording, tracking, reviewing, and confirming implementation of recommendations from audits and investigations carried out by the Inspector General of the Department, the Medical Inspector of the Department, the Special Counsel, and the Comptroller General of the United States, including the imposition of disciplinary actions and other corrective actions contained in such recommendations.
Analyzing data from the Office and the Office of Inspector General telephone hotlines, other whistleblower disclosures, disaggregated by facility and area of health care if appropriate, and relevant audits and investigations to identify trends and issue reports to the Secretary based on analysis conducted under this subparagraph.
(H) Receiving, reviewing, and investigating allegations of misconduct, retaliation, or poor performance involving—
an individual employed in a confidential, policy-making, policy-determining, or policy-advocating position in the Department; or
In any case in which the Assistant Secretary receives a whistleblower disclosure from an employee of the Department under paragraph (1)(C), the Assistant Secretary may not disclose the identity of the employee without the consent of the employee, except in accordance with the provisions of section 552a of title 5, or as required by any other applicable provision of Federal law.
(d)Staff and Resources.—
(e)Relation to Office of General Counsel.—
The Office shall not be established as an element of the Office of the General Counsel and the Assistant Secretary may not report to the General Counsel.
Not later than June 30 of each calendar year, beginning with June 30, 2017, the Assistant Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the activities of the Office during the calendar year in which the report is submitted.
(B) Each report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include, for the period covered by the report, the following:
A full and substantive analysis of the activities of the Office, including such statistical information as the Assistant Secretary considers appropriate.
(iv) Such recommendations as the Assistant Secretary may have for legislative or administrative action to improve—
Such other matters as the Assistant Secretary considers appropriate regarding the functions of the Office or other matters relating to the Office.
If the Secretary receives a recommendation for disciplinary action under subsection (c)(1)(I) and does not take or initiate the recommended disciplinary action before the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Secretary received the recommendation, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives a detailed justification for not taking or initiating such disciplinary action.
(g)Definitions.—In this section:
(3) The term “whistleblower disclosure” means any disclosure of information by an employee of the Department or individual applying to become an employee of the Department which the employee or individual reasonably believes evidences—