Through your hard work, creativity and integrity, NASA is recognized as the best place to work in the federal government. Every employee and organization plays a role in this success, including the NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG). I wanted to remind everyone of the importance of the OIG in our work.
Offices of Inspector General were established across government 40 years ago to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse, and promote economy and efficiency in agency programs and operations. The statute creating OIGs provides the office with special authorities, including direct access to the administrator, subpoena powers, independent hiring authority, and access to all agency information and data. The statute also requires OIGs to report to both their agency head and Congress, a dual-reporting relationship that ensures independence. The NASA OIG investigates allegations of criminal and administrative misconduct relating to NASA personnel and contractors and conducts audits and reviews of the agency’s programs and activities. Every NASA employee has a responsibility to cooperate with OIG investigations and audits by providing prompt and complete access to agency data, documents, and personnel.
I fully support the OIG’s efforts to help ensure NASA remains an efficient and effective organization, and I urge your continued cooperation with them.
Both NASA policy and federal law require employees who observe a crime, misconduct, or mismanagement to report it to the OIG. Employees who disclose matters to the OIG may do so freely without informing their supervisors. As a reminder, it is illegal for managers to retaliate against employees for bringing information to or cooperating with the OIG.
Finally, OIG investigators and auditors reside at NASA Headquarters and every Center. Information about how to contact the OIG can be found at: http://oig.nasa.gov/contact.htm
As always, thank you for your commitment and dedication to the NASA mission.
Whistleblowers perform an important service for the public and the NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) when they report evidence of wrongdoing. All NASA employees, contractors, subcontractors, grantees, sub-grantees, and personal services contractors are protected from retaliation for making a protected disclosure . Reports concerning wrongdoing by NASA employees or within NASA programs can always be submitted directly to the OIG Hotline.
If you have any questions about any of the information on this web page, or are concerned that you have experienced retaliation for blowing the whistle, you may contact the NASA Whistleblower Protection Coordinator for additional information. You may also consult the web site of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), or review this OSC pamphlet, Know Your Rights When Reporting Wrongs.
It is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for making a "protected disclosure." A disclosure is protected if it meets two criteria:
|Status||Wrongdoing Defined||Authorized Audiences|
In general, employees may disclose information to anyone, including non-governmental audiences, unless the information is classified or specifically prohibited by law from release.
However, if the information is classified or specifically prohibited by law from release, it may only be shared with the OIG, OSC, or a designated agency official.
|Contractors, Subcontractors, Grantees, Sub-grantees, and Personal Services Contractors||
For all disclosures, classified or unclassified, an employee of a contractor or grantee is only protected if the disclosure is made to:
A disclosure of waste, fraud, or abuse that includes classified information is not a protected disclosure under the whistleblower laws unless the disclosure is made in accordance with the laws and rules that govern the proper handling and transmission of classified information. For example, you are not protected for disclosing classified information to an unauthorized recipient, even if you reasonably believe the information is evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse. You can make a protected disclosure of classified information to the OIG, but the information may not be transmitted using the OIG's unclassified hotline. For more information on how to properly provide classified information to the OIG, please contact the NASA Whistleblower Protection Coordinator.
No one should ever be subject to or threatened with reprisal for coming forward with a protected disclosure. It is unlawful for any personnel action to be taken against you because of your whistleblowing. If you believe you have been retaliated against for making a protected disclosure, you may file a retaliation complaint, under the guidelines below.
If you are a NASA employee, you may submit a retaliation complaint to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) or to the OIG by completing the OIG reprisal questionnaire and submitting to the OIG Hotline or your local OIG office. OSC has primary jurisdiction over retaliation complaints for most federal employees, including all NASA employees. OSC has unique authorities, including the ability to seek a temporary stay of a pending personnel action, and can seek to correct a retaliatory personnel action on your behalf. If you submit your complaint to the OIG, we will review it and let you know whether it is appropriate for the OIG to investigate or whether it should be referred to OSC or elsewhere.
Allegations of reprisal regarding EEO matters generally should be addressed through the EEO process.
If you are an employee of a NASA contractor, subcontractor, grantee, sub-grantee, or a NASA personal services contractor, you may submit a complaint by completing the OIG reprisal questionnaire and submitting to the OIG Hotline or your local OIG office. Under 10 U.S.C. § 2409, it is illegal for an employee of a NASA contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or sub-grantee or personal services contractor to be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against for making a protected disclosure. For more information about whistleblower protections for such employees, please consult the NASA Whistleblower Protection Coordinator.
If you are a NASA employee, including NASA contractors, subcontractors, grantees, sub-grantees, and personal services contractors and believe an action affecting your security clearance was retaliatory, you may submit a complaint by completing the OIG reprisal questionnaire and submitting to the OIG Hotline or your local OIG office. The Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19) makes it unlawful for an agency to take any action affecting an employee's eligibility for access to classified information in reprisal for making a protected disclosure.
The Whistleblower Protection Coordination Act amended the Inspector General Act to require NASA OIG to designate an individual to serve as NASA's Whistleblower Protection Coordinator. The Whistleblower Protection Coordinator carries out a number of key functions, including:
The NASA Whistleblower Protection Coordinator cannot act as a legal representative, agent, or advocate for any individual whistleblower.
For more information, you may contact the NASA Whistleblower Protection Coordinator.
Pursuant to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, the following statement applies to non-disclosure policies, forms, or agreements of the federal government with current or former NASA employees, including those in effect before the Act's effective date of December 27, 2012:
"These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive Order relating to (1) classified information, (2) communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other whistleblower protection. The definitions, requirements, obligations, rights, sanctions, and liabilities created by controlling Executive Orders and statutory provisions are incorporated into this agreement and are controlling."
The controlling Executive Orders and statutory provisions in the event of any conflict with a non-disclosure policy, form, or agreement include, as of March 14, 2013:
We encourage the following posters to be prominently displayed on NASA Centers and made available on the intranet. Click each poster to view.
Whistleblowing: Defines a “whistleblower” as someone who discloses information he or she reasonably believes evidences a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
Whistleblower Retaliation: Asks, “What is whistleblower retaliation?” A federal employee authorized to take, direct others to take, recommend or approve any personnel action may not take, fail to take, or threaten to take any personnel action against an employee because of protected whistleblowing. Cites an example. Defines “protected whistleblowing.”
Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPPs): Lists 14 prohibitions, including: whistleblower retaliation; discrimination for engaging in conduct unrelated to work performance, such as discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation; and hiring and promotion offenses that offend the merit system. 5 U.S.C. §§ 2302(b)(1)-(b)(13).
Click on a question to view the answer
Yes. Pursuant to 10 USC 2409, an employee of a contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or subgrantee or personal services contractor may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for disclosing information that is evidence of: