DOD Finalizes Whistleblower Rule for Employees of Federal Contractors
The Department of Defense has published its final rule addressing protections for federal contractor employees who disclose information to government officials regarding waste, mismanagement, danger to public health or safety, or violation of law related to a DOD contract.
The final rule, effective is adopted from interim rule published by the DOD on January 15, 2009. Since the DOD received no comments on the interim rule, it adopted the interim rule as a final rule without change.
Under the rule, DOD contractors are prohibited from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee as a reprisal for disclosing information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of gross mismanagement of a DOD contract, a gross waste of DOD funds, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or a violation of law related to a DOD contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract). The rule covers disclosures to Congress or a member of Congress; an inspector general; the Government Accountability Office; a DOD employee responsible for contract oversight or management; authorized agency officials or the Dept. of Justice.
The rule provides procedures for filing and investigating complaints, as well as remedies. DOD contractors are required to inform employees in writing of their whistleblower rights.