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Whistleblower Protection Laws

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.

Retaliation for Engaging in Protected Activity

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.

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