Senate Adopts Whistleblower Protections for Grantees
Last week, the Senate agreed to an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act designed to strengthen whistleblower protections for employees of contractors, subcontractors and grantees. The amendment prohibits employers from firing or punishing employees who report abuse, waste, or fraud relating to Federal grants or contracts. Individuals believing that they have been punished by an employer would be able to file a complaint with the Inspector General’s office of the awarding agency.
The amendment also prohibits employers from waiving the provisions of the amendment as a condition of employment. Additionally, employers will be required to notify employees of their rights and remedies provided by the amendment. The amendment’s provisions would impact all future contracts and grants, and would only impact previously awarded contracts if the contract was modified to specifically include the provisions.
In June, the House passed a version of the bill that included language that would provide extended whistleblower protection only to Defense Department contracts or grant awards. The Senate amendment would extend this protection to all contractor and grantee employees.
Management Concepts offers a Federal Grants Update course each year that reviews, examines, and analyzes legislative and regulatory changes in Federal grants management. The 2013 Update Course will cover this issue as well as many other important changes. Additional information about this course will be posted on our website in January. A list of current course offerings is found in the course catalog.