Under the Federal Whistleblowers Act, individuals who report illegal, fraudulent, or dangerous actions by a defense contractor are protected from retaliation. Furthermore, fraudulent activity by a contractor employed by the United States military is handled differently than other forms of fraud committed against the United States government. Also, the Federal Whistleblowers Act covers protection against retaliation differently.
About Defense Contract Fraud
The defense contracting industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. The potential for wealth as a defense contractor can seem limitless. Therefore, some contractors find themselves tempted to deceive the department of defense. Ultimately, defense contract fraud can take many forms, including:
- A contractor employed by the department of defense violates any law or rule put in place to govern or guide their actions.
- A contractor employed by the department of defense severely mismanaged the money allocated to their task. Or, they waste the funds provided to them by the government.
- Perhaps a contractor abuses the authority given to them by the department of defense.
- A contractor employed by the department of defense endangers or public health or safety.
The Federal Whistleblowers Act covers all of these situations. The Inspector General of the Department of Defense handles these cases.
What Protections Are in Place for Defense Contract Whistleblowers?
Any individual can report fraudulent activity to the Inspector General. However, he or she must be a private citizen filing a claim under the qui tam provision. Or, they he or she may be an employee of the contractor who is being reported. Hence, the Federal Whistleblower Act provides protection applies to any employee of the United States government who engages in whistleblowing on a defense contractor.
This federal law mandates that employees of the federal government cannot engage in retaliation towards whistleblowers. This law protects civilian employees, military members, and members of the defense intelligence community. In addition, the specifics of the law are as follows:
- It is illegal to administer any kind of consequence to a government employee who is a whistleblower.
- Protection of the whistleblower is given top priority. Ultimately, this priority comes before prosecuting those committing the abusive, fraudulent, or wasteful activity.
Are you a government employee with knowledge of improper behavior by a defense contractor? You can report this information to the inspector general. However, to receive the protection you deserve under the Federal Whistleblowers Act, seek out experienced representation from an attorney. If you have been the victim of retaliation because you have reported fraudulent or abusive activity, a whistleblower lawyer can help you seek justice for yourself.
Finally, you can find out what you need to know about the federal whistleblowers act by calling 770.643.1606.