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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.
A. An IC employee, assignee, detailee, or contractor, who intends to report to Congress a complaint or information with respect to an urgent
concern, may report such complaint or information to the Intelligence Community Inspector General by calling 1-855-731-3260.
B. Not later than the end of the 14-calendar day period beginning on the date of receipt from an employee of a complaint or information under
subparagraph (A), the IC IG shall determine whether the complaint or information appears credible. If the IC IG determines that the complaint or
information appears credible, then the IC IG shall, before the end of such period, transmit the complaint or information to the Director of
National Intelligence. The IC IG may also forward comments on the complaint or information to the DNI.
C. Upon receipt of a transmittal from the IC IG under subparagraph (B), the DNI shall, within 7 calendar days of such receipt, forward such
transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees, together with any comments the DNI considers appropriate.
i. If the IC IG does not transmit, or does not transmit in accurate form, the complaint or information described in subparagraph (B), the
employee may submit, in accordance with subparagraph (ii), the complaint or information to Congress by contacting either or both of the
congressional intelligence committees directly.
ii. The employee may contact the congressional intelligence committees directly as described in clause (i) only if the employee –
a. before making such a contact, furnishes to the DNI, through the IC IG, a statement of the employee's complaint or information and
notice of the employee's intent to contact the congressional intelligence committees directly; and
b. obtains and follows from the DNI, through the IC IG, direction on how to contact the congressional intelligence committees in
accordance with necessary and appropriate security procedures.
iii. The ICWPA provides that a member or employee of one of the congressional intelligence committees who receives a complaint or
information under clause (i) does so in that member's or employee's official capacity as a member or employee of that committee.
D. The IC IG shall notify an employee who reports a complaint or information to the IC IG under these procedures of each action taken under
these procedures with respect to the complaint or information. Such notice shall be provided not later than 3 days after any such action is
E. An action taken by the DNI or the IC IG under this paragraph shall not be subject to judicial review.
F. In this summary:
i. The term "urgent concern" means any of the following:
a. A serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive Order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or
operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public
b. A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding,
administration, or operation of an intelligence activity.
c. An action, including a personnel action described in section 2302(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, constituting reprisal or threat
of reprisal prohibited under subsection (e)(3)(B) in response to an employee's reporting an urgent concern in accordance with this
ii. The term 'congressional intelligence committees' means the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States House of
Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the United States Senate.
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.
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