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New law extends whistleblower protections to subcontractors

Jul. 1, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  

WASHINGTON — Whistleblowers working for Defense Department subcontractors will receiveprotections from employer reprisals when a new law goes into effect on July 1.

The new provision, which was part of the 2013 Defense Authorization Act, covers subcontractors working on new DoD contracts, modified contracts, grants and task orders, Marguerite Garrison, deputy DoD inspector general for administrative investigations, said June 27.

“Before when we got a complaint from a subcontractor they weren’t covered, so we did not conduct an investigation,” she said.

The update to existing law also expands to whom a whistleblower can disclose information, to include “a court or a grand jury, as well as management officials or other employees of the contractor or subcontractor who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address the misconduct,” Garrison said.

“What this was before was the subcontractor could make a claim to his boss — usually internally — and we found that they weren’t making the disclosure to a government official, they were making it to their management,” she said. “Now they are covered if they make that statement or that complaint to their management official.”

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