Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General
DEPARTMENT of JUSTICE CONTRACTORS,
SUBCONTRACTORS, AND GRANTEES
Employees of Department of Justice contractors, subcontractors, and grantees perform an important service by reporting what they reasonably believe to be evidence of wrongdoing.
Whistleblowers perform an important service to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the public when they come forward with what they reasonably believe to be evidence of wrongdoing. They should never be subject to reprisal for doing so.
Federal law protects federal employees against reprisal for whistleblowing. In addition, under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA), it is illegal for an employee of a Federal contractor, subcontractor, or grantee to be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against for making a protected whistleblower disclosure. Also, under Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-19), an action affecting access to classified information cannot be taken in reprisal for protected whistleblowing.
The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ OIG) has jurisdiction to investigate allegations of reprisal for whistleblowing by employees of DOJ contractors, subcontractors, and grantees. Information on how to report suspected reprisal to the OIG is available at: https://oig.justice.gov/hotline/.
What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is an employee of a Federal contractor, subcontractor, or grantee who discloses information that the individual 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.
To whom must the disclosure be made to be protected?
To be protected under the NDAA, a disclosure regarding a DOJ contract, subcontract, or grant must be made to one of the following:
- A Member of Congress, or a representative of a committee of Congress;
- The OIG;
- The Government Accountability Office (GAO);
- A Federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at DOJ;
- An otherwise authorized official at DOJ or other law enforcement agency;
- A court or grand jury; or
- A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, or grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct.
(Disclosures involving classified information should be made in accordance with otherwise applicable laws, and individuals should consult with the OIG to ensure that such disclosures are made appropriately).
What can I do if I believe retaliation has occurred?
Employees of contractors, subcontractors, or grantees may file a complaint under the NDAA with the OIG, which will investigate the matter unless the OIG determines that the complaint is frivolous, fails to allege a violation of the prohibition against whistleblower reprisal, or has been addressed in another proceeding. If the OIG finds that retaliation has occurred, it can recommend that the Department order the contractor, subcontractor, or grantee, to take remedial action, such as reinstatement or back pay.
Also, if you are an employee of DOJ or of a DOJ contractor, subcontractor, or grantee and you suspect that a personnel action or an action affecting access to classified information has been taken against you in reprisal for making a disclosure of wrongdoing, you may report it to the OIG.
Nothing in a non-disclosure agreement should be interpreted as limiting your ability to provide information to the OIG.
For further information about whistleblower rights and protections, please see the Whistleblower Protection page on the OIG’s website at: https://oig.justice.gov/hotline/whistleblower-protection.htm
Note: The OIG does not have authority to investigate EEO complaints. For such matters, please refer to the DOJ Equal Employment Opportunity Office, website https://justice.gov/jmd/eeos. If you wish to make a whistleblower disclosure or report reprisal for doing so outside DOJ, you may contact the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, website https://osc.gov.
How can I report wrongdoing to DOJ OIG?
If you know about waste, fraud, abuse, misconduct, or whistleblower reprisal relating to a Department of Justice (DOJ) employee, program, contract, or grant you may report it to the OIG through the following:
Hotline: (800) 869-4499
Fax: (202) 616-9881
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General
1425 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530-2001