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It is the policy of the federal government to enable employees to disclose evidence of fraud, abuse, mismanagement, or illegal activities without fear of reprisal. The Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended by the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 provides employees and contractors of intelligence agencies with a mechanism for reporting alleged wrongdoing in IC agencies and associated programs to Congress. Under the ICWPA, IC employees have the right to engage in whistleblowing activity relating to intelligence matters of "urgent concern" and to be free from retaliatory actions for such reporting. "Urgent concerns," as defined by the ICWPA, include matters an IC employee reasonably believes to evidence violations of law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. In some circumstances, ODNI personnel (including employees, assignees, detailees, and contractors) may feel it necessary to report such matters to Congress when, in the view of the ODNI personnel, those matters are not being adequately addressed by the ODNI or another government agency. If ODNI personnel wish to report waste, fraud, abuse, violation of law, or gross mismanagement by IC employees to Congress, the matter should first be raised to the IC Office of Inspector General. The IC IG will advise the employee regarding the procedures for making an IC whistleblower complaint. Additionally, ODNI and IC personnel may report misconduct to the IC IG at any time. For additional information on whistleblower obligations, policies and procedures, to make a whistleblower disclosure, and/or if you believe that you have been a victim of whistleblower retaliation, ODNI and IC personnel should contact the Office of the IC IG at 703-482-1300.
A Federal agency cannot retaliate against an employee or applicant because that individual exercises his or her rights under any of the Federal antidiscrimination or whistleblower protection laws listed above. If you believe that you are the victim of retaliation for engaging in protected activity, you must follow, as appropriate, the procedures described in the Antidiscrimination Laws and Whistleblower Protection Laws sections or, if applicable, the administrative or negotiated grievance procedures in order to pursue any legal remedy.
The Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination and Retaliation (No FEAR) Act requires each federal agency to post on its public website summary statistical data relating to equal employment opportunity complaints filed against the agency. The agency must post data for the current fiscal year on a cumulative basis (year-to-date information), updated quarterly. An agency must also post year-end data for the five previous fiscal years for comparison purposes. The posting of EEO data on agency public websites is intended to help Congress, Federal agencies, and the public assess whether and the extent to which agencies are living up to their equal employment opportunity responsibilities.
Fiscal 2006 is the first available year for data related to the equal employment opportunity complaints filed against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The ODNI was established with enactment of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 on December 17, 2004, Public Law 108-458. The first Director of National Intelligence, Ambassador John D. Negroponte, was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in on April 21, 2005. In January 2006, the DNI appointed the agency's first Chief, Intelligence Community EEO and Diversity, Mr. John Robinson, and tasked him with establishing internal processes within the ODNI while exercising the DNI's authority in the area of EEO and diversity throughout the Intelligence Community.
Under the existing laws, each agency retains the right, where appropriate, to discipline a Federal employee for conduct that is inconsistent with Federal Antidiscrimination and Whistleblower Protection Laws up to and including removal. According to the statute, if OSC has initiated an investigation under 5 USC 1214, however, according to 5 USC 1214(f), agencies must seek approval from the Special Counsel to discipline employees for, among other activities, engaging in prohibited retaliation. Nothing in the No FEAR Act alters existing laws or permits an agency to take unfounded disciplinary action against a Federal employee or to violate the procedural rights of a Federal employee who has been accused of discrimination.
For further information regarding the No FEAR Act regulations, refer to 5 USC Part 724, as well as the appropriate offices within your agency (e.g., EEO/civil rights office, human resources office or legal office). Additional information regarding Federal antidiscrimination and whistleblower protection and retaliation laws can be found at the EEOC website and the OSC website.
It is the mission of the Intelligence Community Inspectors General Forum to promote and further collaboration, cooperation and coordination among the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Community of the United States in furtherance of the following objectives:
In furtherance of its mission, the IC IG Forum members meet quarterly to discuss issues of common concern, and to plan how to address them collaboratively.
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