House Introduces Bill to Encourage Contractor Employees to Report Misconduct Related to the Use of Federal Funds
October 1, 2012
On September 13, 2012, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), along with cosponsor Todd Platts (R-PA), introduced the “Non-Federal Employees Whistleblower Protection Act” (H.R. 6406). If passed, the bill would encourage contractor employees to report misconduct in the performance of contracts, grants, or other programs paid for with federal funds. The proposed bill would provide employees who report such allegations with significant protections from retaliation. If an employee who has made such an allegation believes he or she has been retaliated against on account of his or her actions, the bill would allow that employee to file a complaint with the contracting agency’s inspector general, who must investigate the allegation and prepare a report that is subject to review by the head of the agency. In addition, the bill would amend the FAR to limit the allowability of costs related to a whistleblower claim to those situations in which the contractor is found not to be liable. This is a companion bill to S. 241, the “Non-Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011,” introduced in the Senate on January 31, 2011. The House bill was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on Education and the Workforce.