...And Changes Are Made
While FAA investigations into pilot records are not uncommon, the methods and tactics used by the Kansas City officials have been called into question. U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) helped launch the investigation into the FAA’s actions over Brinell. As a result, Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead determined in a January report that the FAA abused its regulatory power and "induced stress" on Brinell. Acting on the report, the FAA changed the job titles of the two men but has not publicly released their names. Last week Blunt announced the agency had put new policies in place in response to his pressure and the inspector general's report, and chief among them is the right to third-party review for complaints about FAA investigations. The agency also promises to improve the processing, documentation and record retention for investigations. The FAA is also going to try to ensure that those who are being investigated by the agency are fully aware of their rights when they disagree with the decision handed down. There will also be training "to reinforce a strict code of professionalism among inspectors." Blunt said he supports the personnel and operational changes undertaken by the FAA. However, the agency said the Flight Standards District Office was still working to implement all of the prescribed policy changes and didn't say when they might be in place.