When an individual provides the right information to the right people, the individual has made a and is a Whistleblower. Once a Protected Disclosure is made, the Whistleblower is afforded protections established by various whistleblower protection laws and policies. The actual process through which a Protected Disclosure is made will vary based on the information conveyed and to whom that information is provided.
Making a Protected Disclosure may be as informal as a conversation with your direct supervisor to a formal submission to an IG Hotline, or even a disclosure to an . Regardless of who you make your disclosure to, they all share the common element of reporting wrongdoing to an authorized recipient while safeguarding sensitive national security information.
Please contact your agency or department's IG or Whistleblower coordinator for additional detailed guidance and/or to address specific questions.
The following is a generalized guide to whistleblowing.
1. Identify the Issue
What is occurring and how do you know it?
2. Document the Facts
Prepare a summary of the facts describing what you witnessed, leaving opinions and speculation out. Consider the following to help guide you in clearly and succinctly articulating your disclosure:
3. Who Needs to Know
The nature of the IC is such that you may not have authorization or access to all the relevant information or facts. You should still report a concern if you have a reasonable belief of wrongdoing, but you should not conduct your own investigation to gather the facts. Instead, report to an appropriate authorized recipient, your government chain of command or IG, so that they may fully investigate your concern(s).
4. Make a Decision about Confidentiality
Do you want to maintain confidentiality in reporting the wrongdoing? Certain authorized recipients are better able to maintain your confidentiality. Offices of Inspectors General (OIGs) will protect the identity of complainants to the maximum extent possible by law. Confidentiality is established by Section 7(b) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, which precludes the IG from disclosing the identity of those who report an allegation or provide information, without their consent, unless the IG determines that disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation. While managers and supervisors will strive to protect a discloser's wishes for confidentiality, this cannot be assured. In some circumstances an authorized recipient may be required to identify you in order to investigate or take action on your lawful disclosure.
Chain of Command
Contact your government manager.
Inspector General (IG)
Call your IG Hotline.
5. Make the Call or Submit Your Disclosure
End your summary with contact information for potential witnesses and the location of any relevant hard and soft copy data that may support your allegations.
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