Term of Award: Pilot for Enhancement of Contractor Employee Whistleblower Protections

As of July 2013, a new Term of Award, Pilot for Enhancement of Contractor Employee Whistleblower Protections, applies to all grants of AHRQ.

General Term and Condition

Grantees are hereby given notice that the 48 CFR section 3.908, implementing section 828, entitled "Pilot Program for Enhancement of Contractor Employee Whistleblower Protections," of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239, enacted January 2, 2013), applies to this award.

Federal Acquisition Regulations

As promulgated in the Federal Register, the relevant portions of 48 CFR section 3.908 read as follows (note that use of the term "contract," "contractor," "subcontract," or "subcontractor" for the purpose of this term and condition, should be read as "grant," "grantee," "subgrant," or "subgrantee"):

3.908 Pilot program for enhancement of contractor employee whistleblower protections

3.908-1 Scope of section.

  1. This section implements 41 U.S.C. 4712.
  2. This section does not apply to—
    1. DoD, NASA, and the Coast Guard; or
    2. Any element of the intelligence community, as defined in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003(4)). This section does not apply to any disclosure made by an employee of a contractor or subcontractor of an element of the intelligence community if such disclosure­
      1. Relates to an activity of an element of the intelligence community; or
      2. Was discovered during contract or subcontract services provided to an element of the intelligence community.

3.908-2  Definitions.

As used in this section—
Abuse of authority means an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority that is inconsistent with the mission of the executive agency concerned or the successful performance of a contract of such agency.

Inspector General means an Inspector General appointed under the Inspector General Act of 1978 and any Inspector General that receives funding from, or has oversight over contracts awarded for, or on behalf of, the executive agency concerned.

3.908-3 Policy.

  1. Contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee as a reprisal for disclosing, to any of the entities listed at paragraph (b) of this subsection, information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of gross mismanagement of a Federal contract, a gross waste of Federal funds, an abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or a violation of Jaw, rule, or regulation related to a Federal contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract). A 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.
  2. Entities to whom disclosure may be made.
    1. A Member of Congress or a representative of a committee of Congress.
    2. An Inspector General.
    3. The Government Accountability Office.
    4. A Federal employee responsible for contract oversight or management at the relevant agency.
    5. An authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency.
    6. A court or grand jury.
    7. A management official or other employee of the contractor or subcontractor who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct.
  3. An employee who initiates or provides evidence of contractor or subcontractor misconduct in any judicial or administrative proceeding relating to waste, fraud, or abuse on a Federal contract shall be deemed to have made a disclosure.

3.908-9  Contract clause.

The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.203-17, Contractor Employee Whistleblower Rights and Requirement to Inform Employees of Whistleblower Rights, in all solicitations and contracts that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

Contract clause:

Contractor Employee Whistleblower Rights and Requirement To Inform Employees of Whistleblower Rights (Sep 2013)

  1. This contract and employees working on this contract will be subject to the whistleblower rights and remedies in the pilot program on Contractor employee whistleblower protections established at 41 U.S.C. 4712 by section 828 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239) and FAR 3.908.
  2. The Contractor shall inform its employees in writing, in the predominant language of the workforce, of employee whistleblower rights and protections under 41 U.S.C. 4712, as described in section 3.908 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
  3. The Contractor shall insert the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (c), in all subcontracts over the simplified acquisition threshold.

Return to Grant Post Award Management

Page last reviewed December 2013
Internet Citation: Term of Award: Pilot for Enhancement of Contractor Employee Whistleblower Protections. December 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/grant-mgmt/whistleblowers.html