Compliance - Enhanced Whistleblower Proctection

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/

 

Footnotes:

1 Federal Statute: 41 U.S.C. § 4712, Sec. 828(a); http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?hl=false&edition=2012&req=granuleid%3AUSC-prelim-title41-section4712&f=treesort&num=0

Ibid, Sec. 828(a); http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?hl=false&edition=2012&req=granuleid%3AUSC-prelim-title41-section4712&f=treesort&num=0

3Ibid, Sec. 828(b)(1); http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?hl=false&edition=2012&req=granuleid%3AUSC-prelim-title41-section4712&f=treesort&num=0