Compliance - Enhanced Whistleblower Protection
Notice to Employees
The National Defense Authorization Act, P.L. 112-239 (PDF) (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 established a four-year pilot program for the enhancement of contractor and subcontractor employee protections from reprisal for disclosure of, “information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of gross mismanagement of a Federal contract or grant, a gross waste of Federal funds, an abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract or grant, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a Federal contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract) or grant.” 1
Specifically, Section 828(a) of the NDAA, Pilot Program for Enhancement of Contractor Employee Whistleblower Protections, provides that, “An employee of a contractor, subcontractor, or grantee may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for disclosing the aforementioned types of information to:
(a) A Member of Congress or a representative of a committee of Congress.
(b) An Inspector General.
(c) The Government Accountability Office.
(d) A Federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency.
(e) An authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency.
(f) A court or grand jury.
(g) A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, or grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct.” 2
The pilot program also establishes a new process for review of whistleblower reprisal complaints alleged by employees of contractors, subcontractors, and grantees, “A person who believes that the person has been subjected to a reprisal prohibited by subsection (a) may submit a complaint to the Inspector General of the executive agency involved.” 3
Procedures for submitting fraud, waste, abuse, and whistleblower complaints are generally accessible on agency Office of Inspector General (OIG) Hotline or Whistleblower Internet sites, such as these:
- Department of Agriculture : http://www.usda.gov/oig/contractorform.htm
- Department of Health and Human Services: https://forms.oig.hhs.gov/hotlineoperations/
- National Institutes of Health: http://oma.od.nih.gov/public/DPI/Pages/default.aspx
- National Science Foundation: http://www.nsf.gov/oig/
If you have questions regarding implementation of this program please contact Wendy Eckert.
1 Federal Statute: 41 U.S.C. § 4712, Sec. 828(a)
2 Ibid, Sec. 828(a)
3 Ibid, Sec. 828(b)(1)