The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) protects employees of government contractors from reprisal or retaliation for whistleblowing, exposing the employer’s wrongdoing. The False Claims Act (FCA) gives similar protections and, in addition, encourages whistleblowing by rewarding individuals who report fraud against the government with bounties or finders’ fees, called qui tam or relator claims.
The NDAA and FCA provide similar protections for individuals and both require that you file your claim within three (3) years. These laws are designed to prevent and remedy retaliation for whistleblowing about government procurement contracts for both the military and federal executive agencies. The FCA is limited to fraud against the government and fraudulent billing practices. The NDAA broadens those whistleblower protections to other kinds of whistleblowing, including:
- Gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant,
- Gross mismanagement of federal funds,
- Gross waste of federal funds,
- An abuse of authority relating to a federal contract or grant,
- A violation of law, rule or regulation relating to a federal contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract) or grant,
- A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
Disclosures may be protected when made to the following bodies or persons:
- The contractor or subcontractor, specifically to someone who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct;
- An Inspector General;
- The Government Accountability Office;
- An employee of DoD or NASA (as applicable) responsible for contract oversight or management;
- An authorized official of the department of Justice or other law enforcement agency;
- A court or grand jury; or,
- In a judicial or administrative proceeding relating to waste fraud or abuse.
If you think you might have a claim under the FCA or the NDAA, contact us to learn more about your rights.