There is an express exception in the FTCA for libel and slander. Congress thus
intended to retain sovereign immunity with respect to defamation allegations
against federal employees. Government officials, including public health
officials, often use publicity, which might include defamation, to change or
influence policy. For example, if a health inspector informs the press about a
restaurant’s violations, the bad publicity generated might have more impact
than any other enforcement measure. The health inspector will generally not
be held liable to the restaurant for damages, even if the statements are false.