Friday, July 22, 2016

The Whistleblower Protections for Contractors Act

A bipartisan group of representatives introduced legislation that will give the same whistleblower protections to subgrantees and personal services contractors that are currently afforded contractors, grant recipients, and subcontractors.

This proposed legislation will apply to both defense and civilian grants and protect any sub-grantee or personnel service contractor protections from reprisal for disclosure of certain information.

It also prohibits legal fees incurred (or accrued) in defense of reprisal claims. The standard here is the familiar one where proceedings relate to violations or or failure to comply with a Federal or State statute or regulation and results in several different dispositions - even if settled by consent or compromise.

This bill is similar to one proposed by Senate and it appears that its got enough support to send it on its way to the President's desk.

Organizations such as PSC (Professional Services Council) and POGO (Project on Government Oversight) are also supporting the initiative.

Sub-grantees and personal services contractors were probably inadvertently omitted during earlier whistleblower protection legislation and this could be seen merely as correcting an earlier oversight. To our knowledge, there has been no whistleblowers in these newly identified categories that have been retaliated against.

You can read the proposed legislation here.

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