Q & A Session – Statute of Limitations for Reported Government Deficiencies


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I am a federal employee with more than 35 years of service. From 2000 to 2004, I was a program manager for an agency. During that time, I discovered many past questionable activities within the program before my time there.

In 2005, I submitted a report of my findings of the many alleged program deficiencies to my supervisors and requested program audit/review for this agency’s program. The deficiencies were for negligence, violations of federal statutes, sexual discrimination, program mismanagement, etc. I emphasized concerns for taxpayers. Upper management refused to take action and failed to acknowledge my request.

Is the Statute of Limitations applicable for the federal government’s refusal to take action in this situation? Many of these violations occurred decades ago. What is the Statute of Limitations, if any, for the government’s refusal to take action on its reported negligence?


It seems to me that you have done about as much as you can. Keep a record of your disclosures, so that no one blames you. You might also consider making the disclosures to your IG or the Office of Special Counsel disclosure unit. If you experience reprisal, you can file a reprisal complaint at the Office of Special Counsel (www.osc.gov).

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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