The new rule prohibits contractors and subcontractors from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee as a reprisal for disclosing, to any of the listed entities, information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of
- gross mismanagement of A DoD contract,
- a gross waste of DoD funds, an abuse of authority relating to a DoD contract,
- a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a DoD contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract), or
- a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
Such reprisal is prohibited even if it is undertaken at the request of an executive branch official, unless the request takes the form of a non-discretionary directive and is within the authority of the executive branch official making the request.
The "entities" to whom disclosure may be made and then protected by this provision include,
- Member of Congress or a representative of a committee of Congress
- An inspector General that receives funding from or has oversight over contracts awarded for or on behalf of DoD
- The Government Accountability Office (GAO)
- A DoD employee responsible for contract oversight or management (e.g DCMA and DCAA)
- An authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency
- A court or grand jury
- A management official or other employee of the contractor or subcontractor who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct.
The new rule also contains procedures for filing and investigating complaints as well as remedies (punishment) that are available should a contractor be found in violation of this whistleblower statute.