The Stats Don’t Lie – Not Every Complaint is Valid
March 11, 2014
By: Lindsay Simmons
The Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) recently issued its Semiannual Report to Congress, covering the second half of FY 2013. The report summarizes the achievements of the DoD IG, as well as the military audit and investigative agencies. During the reporting period, the DoD IG identified $23.5 billion in potential monetary benefits and investigations conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigation Service (DCIS) resulting in 111 arrests, 175 criminal charges, 147 criminal convictions, 76 suspensions, 102 debarments, and $619.8 million in funds returned to the federal government.
Included in this report is a summary of the whistleblower reprisal investigations conducted by the IGs among them investigations into allegations of whistleblower reprisal made by DoD contractor employees under 10 U.S.C. § 2409 the subject of a new pilot program previously reported here .
Under 10 U.S.C. § 2409, an employee who engages in protected activity such as raising/disclosing evidence of gross mismanagement of a federal contract or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract cannot, based on this disclosure of misconduct, be discharged, demoted or otherwise suffer retaliation and, if they are, they can file a complaint with the IG. Unless the complaint is frivolous on its face, the IG must investigate and submit a report to the Agency Head within 180 days and, within 30 days thereafter, the Agency Head must decide if the employee was subjected to a reprisal action.
During the period covered by the Semiannual Report, the Department received a total of 274 reprisal complaints, 54 of which were filed in connection with Section 2409 Contractor employee protection from reprisal for disclosure. The good news is that while many complaints were filed, only a few were investigated and none were substantiated. Strong compliance programs work.
Lindsay Simmons is the attorney responsible for the content of this article.
© Jackson Kelly PLLC 2014