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Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protection (41 U.S.C. 4712)

Michigan State University is committed to complying with local, state and federal laws and regulations as well as University policies. If you are concerned about a possible violation of law or policy you may first consider raising it within your own college or unit or contacting a specialized central office. The University also offers a confidential reporting service through the Misconduct Hotline. You may access the Misconduct Hotline either through the web (http://misconduct.msu.edu) or by calling 800-763-0764, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The University prohibits retaliation against any individual who makes a report in good faith of known or suspected misconduct.

Congress enacted the Pilot Program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protection which is in effect until January 1, 2017. This Pilot Program applies to all employees working for contractors, grantees, subcontractors, and subgrantees on federal grants and contracts.

An employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee [or subgrantee] may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against in reprisal for whistleblowing. In addition, whistleblower protections cannot be waived by any agreement, policy, form, or condition of employment. "Whistleblowing" means reporting information the employee reasonably believes is evidence of wrongdoing, including any of the following:

  • Gross mismanagement of a Federal contract or grant;
  • The gross waste of Federal funds;
  • An abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract or grant;
  • A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or,
  • A violation of law or regulation related to a Federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant).

The statute's whistleblower protections are triggered if an employee discloses such information to any of the following:

  • A Member of Congress, or a representative of a Congressional committee;
  • An Inspector General;
  • The Government Accountability Office;
  • A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency;
  • An official from the Department of Justice, or other law enforcement agency;
  • A court or grand jury; or,
  • A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or sub-grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address misconduct.

Additional details may be found in the full statute 41 U.S.C. 4712 as well as the Federal Register/Vol. 78, No. 189.

Category:     Subcategories: Federal, Policy

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