When whistleblowers at the Defense Department wish to report an issue, they now have many options available. Patrick Gookin, director of the Department of Defense Hotline, says that the hotline’s contact form is quickly becoming the method of choice for concerned employees.
“It is usually not a call. That is least efficient manner to contact us. We have an online form to fill out. It’s something like filling out a police report on your own, and it’s put in plain language for anyone to understand,” Gookin told Government Matters. “It’s a smart interactive form, and when we look at it and realize that it is something that is within the purview of the department, when we hit a button in our system, it puts all of the data into our case management system automatically, and we can start managing it from there.”
Gookin said that through proper management, they were able to reduce the case work year-by-year.
“We started in 2013 with roughly 3500 cases that were open. At that time, we had a large backlog of referring cases out to the appropriate venue for inquiry. By 2014, we had resolved that backlog and we were sending things out in a timely manner,“ Gookin said. “After that, we started focusing on the large quantity of matters that we had referred in backlog. Our case inventory from 2013 to present dropped by two-thirds because we are able to manage those cases, ensure that the inquiries are conducted, make sure they are conducted appropriately and then close the case.“