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Whistle-blower protection (41 U.S.C. §4712)

Congress has enacted several whistleblower protection statutes to encourage employees to report fraud, waste, and abuse. The latest statute (41 U.S.C. §4712) went into effect on July 1, 2013, and applies to all employees working for contractors, grantees, subcontractors and sub-grantees on federal grants and contracts. The statute states that an "employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee [or sub-grantee] may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for "whistleblowing." In addition, whistleblower protections cannot be waived by any agreement, policy, form or condition of employment.

You are receiving this information because you have applied for, or are applying for, a federal grant program that is covered by this statute, and if awarded, the terms below will apply to your project or program. If these terms are unacceptable to you, then the proposal should be withdrawn or not submitted. Submitting your proposal certifies that if awarded, you will adhere to the terms below.

  • This program requires all grantees, their sub-grantees and subcontractors to:
    1. Inform their employees working on any Federal award that they are subject to the whistleblower rights and remedies of the pilot program;
    2. Inform their employees in writing of employee whistleblower protections under 41 U.S.C. §4712 in the predominant native language of the workforce;
  • Whistleblowing is defined as making a disclosure "that the employee reasonably believes" is evidence of any of the following:
    1. Gross mismanagement of a Federal contract or grant;
    2. A gross waste of Federal funds;
    3. An abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract or grant;
    4. A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or,
    5. A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a Federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant).
  • To qualify under the statute, the employee's disclosure must be made to:
    1. A Member of Congress, or a representative of a Congressional Committee;
    2. An Inspector General;
    3. The Government Accountability Office;
    4. A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency;
    5. A court or grand jury; or,
    6. A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or sub-grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address misconduct.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your pre-award administrator. If you don't know already, you can find out who your pre-award administrator is at the link below: