Whistleblower Information (2024)

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Whistleblower Information (1)

National Security Agency Office of the Inspector General

National Security Agency Office of the Inspector General


Whistleblowers perform an invaluable service - If You See Something, Say Something


Following the passage of the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, employees of contractors, subcontractors, grantees, subgrantees, or personal service contractors are protected against reprisal in the form of an adverse personnel action or an adverse security clearance determination for making a protected communication. Individuals who want additional information may contact the NSA Office of the Inspector General.

Importance of Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers play a critical role by reporting what they reasonably believe to be waste, fraud, and abuse in government operations. Under Agency policy, whistleblowers have a duty to report wrongdoing. It is critical to the work of the OIG that they report any concerns without fear of retaliation. The NSA OIG Hotline provides a mechanism for whistleblowers to make a protected communication to the OIG.

The OIG investigates all credible claims of whistleblower reprisal and has a statutory obligation to maintain complainants' confidentiality. The FISA Amendments Act of 2017 extended whistleblower protections to Intelligence Community contractors.

Read the NSA IG’s message about whistleblowers in the unclassified 2018 Semi-Annual Report to Congress.

Whistleblower Protection

Your Duty to Report

Your Right to be Protected

Whistleblowing and "leaking" are not the same.


A disclosure of a covered topic that is reported to, among others:

> NSA Office of the Inspector General

> Intelligence Community Office of the Inspector General

> Supervisor or chain of command

> Congressional intelligence committees

What is a protected disclosure under PPD-19?

Presidential Policy Directive 19 is the first executive branch-wide policy to provide uniform prohibitions against reprisal personnel actions for U.S. Intelligence Community employees. It also protects IC employees and contractors from adverse security-clearance determinations because of whistleblowing activity.

More about PPD-19...

Information can be classified or unclassified.

Reasonably believed to be:
> A violation of law, rule, or regulation
> Gross mismanagement, waste of funds, or abuse of authority
> Danger to public health or safety

Provided to authorized recipients only.

Does not include:
> Policy disputes or differences of opinion
> Unauthorized disclosures of classified information
> Unauthorized disclosures to the media

Who can receive protected disclosures under PPD-19?

Inspectors general
> An employee's agency IG, including the NSA OIG
> IG of the Intelligence Community
> Designee for these officials

Anyone in the employee's chain of command, including the head of an agency or designee for these officials.

Director of National Intelligence

Congressional intelligence committees, through the IC Whistleblower Protection Act Process.


Whistleblower Information (12)

Whistleblower Information (2024)


Whistleblower Information? ›

Whistleblowers perform an important service to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the public when they come forward with what they reasonably believe to be evidence of wrongdoing. They should never be subject to reprisal for doing so. Federal law protects federal employees against reprisal for whistleblowing.

What are the 3 types of whistleblowing? ›

Whistleblower reports can be about many different things, but they are often about the following: Corruption. Workplace discrimination and harassment. Violations of the law and crimes.

What are examples of whistleblower complaints? ›

Whistleblower Examples Include Employees Who Report Corruption, Discrimination, Harassment, and Fraud. Examples of whistleblower cases cover considerable territory, from accounting irregularities and government fraud to racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

What happens with a whistleblower complaint? ›

OSHA will interview the Complainant to obtain information about the alleged retaliation, and will determine whether the allegation is sufficient to initiate an investigation under one or more of the whistleblower protection statutes administered by OSHA.

Who is considered a whistleblower? ›

Who is a "Whistleblower"? A Whistleblower is any individual who provides the right information to the right people. Stated differently, lawful whistleblowing occurs when an individual provides information that they reasonably believe evidences wrongdoing to an authorized recipient.

What is the burden of proof for a whistleblower? ›

because of” whistleblowing, that provision requires a whistleblower to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the employer took the adverse employment action with retaliatory intent — i.e. , an intent to “discriminate against an employee … because of” whistleblowing.

What makes whistleblowing illegal? ›

In summary, whistleblowing can often be illegal if the exposed information threatens national security. For example, leaking unauthorized government information could leave the military or other federal employees vulnerable.

What are 5 consequences of whistleblowing? ›

Consequences of Whistleblowing
  • Harmful gossip and harassment from co-workers.
  • Negative job performance evaluation.
  • Withheld wages.
  • Loss of benefits or privileges.
  • Work that's carefully watched by supervisors.
  • Demotion, or denial of promotion.
  • Termination or forced retirement.

What is the most common type of whistleblower? ›

5 of the Most Common Types of Whistleblower Fraud
  • Health Care Fraud.
  • Defense Contractor Fraud.
  • Tax/IRS Fraud.
  • Securities Fraud.
  • Procurement Fraud.
Jul 20, 2016

Do whistleblowers get paid? ›

The whistleblower may receive a reward of 10 percent to 30 percent of what the government recovers, if the SEC recovers more than $1 million. The SEC may increase the whistleblower award based on many factors, such as: How important the information that the whistleblower provided was to the enforcement action.

Can a whistleblower be investigated? ›

Confidentiality. Complaints received by the State Auditor are confidential. The identity of the complainant may not be revealed without their permission except to an appropriate law enforcement agency conducting a criminal investigation.

Do whistleblowers get in trouble? ›

Bottom line: if a whistleblower gathers the information using proper authority, there's still a chance they could get into legal trouble. But the chances are smaller than if they obtained the information in direct violation of a law or company rule.

How long do whistleblower cases take? ›

In extreme cases, the complaint might result in a trial. All of this phase could take years — three or four years, easily; and possibly longer. Only then, after the company reaches some settlement, do we even get to any potential whistleblower award.

Are whistleblowers confidential? ›

The Commission is committed to protecting whistleblowers' identities. As a general rule, the Commission treats information learned during the course of an investigation, including the identity of sources, as non-public and confidential. There are, however, limits on the Commission's ability to shield your identity.

What is the process of whistleblowing? ›

Whistleblowing is the term used when a worker passes on information concerning wrongdoing. In this guidance, we call that “making a disclosure” or “blowing the whistle”. The wrongdoing will typically (although not necessarily) be something they have witnessed at work.

How do you prove whistleblower retaliation? ›

Proving Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

In order to prove that your employer retaliated against you, you must show causation. This means that you must show a direct link between the whistleblowing or reporting of the wrongdoing, and the adverse action against them.

What are the 3 steps in the whistleblowing process? ›

The following is a generalized guide to whistleblowing.
  • Identify the Issue. What is occurring and how do you know it?
  • Document the Facts. ...
  • Who Needs to Know. ...
  • Make a Decision about Confidentiality. ...
  • Make the Call or Submit Your Disclosure.

What are the different types of whistle blowing? ›

There are two kinds of whistleblowing: internal (where an employee of a company goes to authorities within the company to resolve issues) and external (where an employee goes to an external source like the media or law enforcement to expose the wrongdoing).

What are the different ways of whistleblowing? ›

Whistleblowing can take various forms and examples of qualifying disclosures of information can include reporting any of the following:
  • A criminal offence;
  • Danger to health and safety;
  • The breach of a legal obligation;
  • Non-compliance with the law (failure to comply with any legal obligation or regulatory requirement);
Mar 6, 2020

What are the four elements of whistleblowing? ›

This study uses the whistleblowing diamond theory, which explains four type of factors that can influence a whistleblower's intention to conduct whistleblowing, namely: pressure/incentives, opportunity, rationalization, and capability.

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