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Conversations in Conflict Studies presents: Jon Oberg and Louis Clark

400 Eggers Hall

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"Ethical Dilemmas of Government Whistleblowers." Jon Oberg and Louis Clark will present as part of the "American Whistleblower Tour: Models of Courageous Citizenship." The Government Accountability Project (GAP) uses conflict and collaboration to fulfill its mission as the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. GAP’s President Louis Clark and U.S. Dept. of Education whistleblower Jon Oberg will discuss how conflict and collaboration were used effectively to disclose and deal with fraud and abuse. Jon initially attempted to collaborate with the Department on a solution to the problem of illegal payments being made to student loan lenders from 2002 to 2004. Only after he was told not to collaborate with anyone or even work on the problem did he take action in conflict with the Department. Working through the Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, and Senate committees, he was able to spotlight the illegal payments and have them halted. After his retirement from the Department, he filed suit in 2007 on behalf of the U.S. to get back payments returned. Five settlements with lenders came about in 2010, another settlement was achieved in 2012, and two cases are still pending. Approximately $75 million of illegal claims have been returned by lenders to date. In 2010, Congress killed the bank-based student loan program in part because of the fraud he exposed. Sponsored by PARCC - Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration.

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