Examining Misconduct and Retaliation at the U.S. Forest Service

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: November 15, 2018 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn HOB

PURPOSE:
  • To examine the U.S. Forest Service’s response to allegations of misconduct, sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
BACKGROUND:
  • On December 1, 2016, the Committee held a hearing to examine reported misconduct, harassment, and gender discrimination at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).
  • Since the hearing, USFS launched a number of initiatives to improve its work environment. However, reports of misconduct, sexual harassment, and retaliation against those who speak out against this behavior continue.
  • The USDA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has reviewed USFS’s work environment and policies on misconduct. On March 18, 2018, the OIG issued an interim audit report. Currently, they are preparing a full audit report to determine whether USFS’s actions to address complaints were implemented in accordance with USFS’s agreement with the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Ms. Vicki Christiansen Chief U.S. Forest Service Document
The Honorable Phyllis K. Fong Inspector General U.S. Department of Agriculture Document
Ms. Shannon Reed Air Quality Specialist Former Employee, U.S. Forest Service