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The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 1999, provides employees of the Intelligence Community (IC) the means to report to Congress complaints or information pertaining to "urgent concerns" (see below) without suffering reprisal.
This section provides a common starting point for determining whether a complaint or information pertains to the ICWPA and for pursuing the proper course of action.
In general, the ICWPA defines an "urgent concern" as:
A whistleblower complaint that does not satisfy one of the above criteria may still prove a valid issue, but such issues are handled under provisions other than the ICWPA.
Agency OIGs must, in effect, make two determinations when fielding a whistleblower complaint to determine whether it is an ICWPA case. First, the complaint must meet one of the three above criteria. Second, the complaint must be deemed "credible," or substantiated by facts allowing an investigation to proceed.
To report waste, fraud, abuse, or misconduct in the Intelligence Community, there are three ways to contact us:
Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Investigations Division
Washington D.C. 20511
What is Reportable?
The IC IG is authorized to investigate complaints or information concerning allegations of a violation of law, rule, regulation, waste, fraud, abuse of authority, or a substantial or specific danger to public health and safety in connection with ODNI and/or IC intelligence programs and activities.
Can I Be Punished for Contacting the IC IG?
Reprisal against an employee for making a complaint or disclosing information to the IC IG is prohibited. Those who believe they have been subjected to reprisal due to a complaint or disclosure, should contact the IC IG immediately. Protection from reprisal does not extend to an employee who makes a complaint or discloses information with knowledge that the complaint or information is false or with wilful disregard for its truth or falsity.
Who Will Handle this Allegation?
The IC IG reviews and assesses the report and determines if it should be handled by the IC IG or referred to another appropriate office. Issues may be reviewed internally or forwarded to another more appropriate office for resolution.
Can I Be Anonymous?
Yes you can report anonymously. However, it would help our investigation if we had someone to contact if we needed additional information. The IC IG will not disclose the identity of the complainant without their consent, unless the IC IG determines such disclosure is unavoidable in the course of carrying out its responsibilities to resolve the complaint. We encourage you to identify yourself in your report to allow for the IC IG to follow-up. However, you may submit a report anonymously.
To report anonymously, you may call the IC IG at 1-855-731-3260.
ODNI's Electronic Reading Room
The goal of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Office is to keep the public better informed about the Agency’s efforts to ensure U.S. security through the release of as much information as possible, consistent with the need to protect classified or sensitive information under the exemption provisions of these laws.
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. sec. 552 (as amended by the OPEN Government Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-175, 121 Stat. 2524) generally provides that any person (with the exception of another Federal agency, a fugitive from the law, or a representative of a foreign government) has the right, enforceable in court, to request access to any existing record of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government unless the information in those records is protected from disclosure by one or more of the nine exemptions that qualify an agency’s need to withhold records from the public. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) acts in accordance to all Federal laws and adheres to the policy and disclosure regulations set forth in 32 CFR Chapter XVII Part 1700 to implement the FOIA uniformly and consistently and to provide maximum allowable disclosure of agency records upon request.
Records that, generally, may be protected from disclosure are: (1) properly classified material; (2) limited kinds of purely internal agency personnel rules and practices; (3) matters exempt from disclosure by other statutes; (4) trade secrets or commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential; (5) inter- or intra- agency communications that represent the deliberative, pre-decisional process, attorney work product, or attorney-client privileged records; (6) personnel, medical, and similar files containing information that would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; (7) law enforcement records to the extent that one of six specific harms could result from disclosure; (8) matters relating to the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; and (9) geological and geophysical information on oil wells.
The FOIA provides for access to “reasonably described” records. This means a requester must describe the actual document(s) sought to provide sufficient details to permit a search with reasonable effort utilizing existing indices or search tools. The FOIA does not require an agency to create a record, collect information, conduct research, or analyze data.
The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a) regulates the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personal information by federal executive branch agencies to balance the government's need to maintain information about individuals with the rights of individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their privacy.
The Act focuses on four basic policy objectives:
(1) To restrict disclosure of personally identifiable records maintained by agencies;
(2) To grant individuals increased rights of access to agency records maintained on themselves;
(3) To grant individuals the right to seek amendment of agency records maintained on themselves upon a showing that the records are not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete; and
(4) To establish a code of "fair information practices" which requires agencies to comply with statutory norms for collection, maintenance, and dissemination of records.
Similar to the FOIA, the Privacy Act provides individuals with the right to seek access to agency records. However, under the Privacy Act, an individual (defined as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien) may only seek access to his/her own record, or to any information pertaining to him/her, if such information is maintained by an agency within a Privacy Act system of records and is not exempt from release under the provisions of the law. In addition, any requests to amend an agency record are limited to correcting factual errors and not matters of official judgement, such as performance ratings, or subjective judgements that reflect an individual’s observation, evaluation or opinion.
Requests for information under the FOIA or PA
To obtain records from the ODNI, a FOIA or PA request may be submitted in writing to:
Jennifer L. Hudson
Chief, Information and Data Management Group
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Washington, D.C. 20511
ODNI FOIA Log (2006-March 2011)FOIA Reports
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence website (DNI.GOV or ODNI.GOV ) is provided as a public service by the ODNI on behalf of the Director of National Intelligence. This website does not collect personal information about you unless you choose to provide such information.
The content of this website may be browsed anonymously. For statistical purposes, this website automatically logs certain information about your visit,
This information does not identify you personally. The information gathered helps us to assess the content most interesting to visitors, determine technical design specifications, and identify system performance issues.
This website does not use persistent cookies. It does, however, use non-persistent or "session" cookies to make it easier for you to use the features on our web pages. Session cookies last only as long as your web browser remains open and are deleted from our servers as soon as you leave our website. The ODNI does not collect or maintain any information from your session cookies.
Any personal information you provide in the context of an inquiry or request for information will be used only to respond to your inquiry or request. We will not share your personal information with another government agency unless you have expressly requested we do so, or as otherwise required by law. In addition, the ODNI will not create individual profiles from your information or provide your information to any private organization for commercial purposes.
If you engage in a specialized business process through another ODNI-sponsored website (e.g., to submit a resume; to provide online comments, etc.) you will be informed of additional privacy procedures at the point of entry for that process.
For site security purposes, and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system monitors network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, to defeat or circumvent a security feature, to interfere with system access or availability, or to cause damage or utilize this system for other than its intended purposes. Anyone using this system expressly consents to such monitoring and is advised that if such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, such evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials.
Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, to defeat or circumvent a security feature, to interfere with system access or availability, or to cause damage or utilize this system for other than its intended purposes, are strictly prohibited and may be punishable by law, including but not limited to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. 1030) and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996.Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits.
ODNI websites may contain information with links or pointers to information created and maintained by other U.S. government agencies and, in some instances, to state, local, tribal or private organizations. These links are provided as a service to you as a user. The ODNI neither controls nor guarantees the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on another website. Once you link to another site, you will be notified that you are leaving the official ODNI website and will be subject to the privacy and security policies of the website to which you are linking.
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