Section 1553 of Division A, Title XV of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5, provides protections for certain individuals who make specified disclosures relating to Recovery Act funds. Any non-federal employer receiving recovery funds is required to post a notice of the rights and remedies provided under this section of the Act.
Who is protected?
Employees of non-federal employers receiving recovery funds, including State and local governments, contractors, subcontractors, grantees or professional membership organizations acting in the interest of recovery fund recipients.
What are whistleblowers protected from?
Covered employees are protected from being discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for making a protected disclosure.
What kinds of disclosures are protected?
To be protected, the disclosure must be made by the employee to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, an Inspector General, the Comptroller General, a member of Congress, a state or federal regulatory or law enforcement agency, a person with supervisory authority over the employee, a court or grand jury, or the head of a federal agency or his/her representatives.
In addition, the disclosure must involve information that the employee believes is evidence of:
- gross mismanagement of an agency contract or grant relating to recovery funds;
- a gross waste of recovery funds;
- a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety related to the implementation or use of recovery funds;
- an abuse of authority related to the implementation or use of recovery funds; or
- a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to an agency contract or grant awarded or issued relating to recovery funds.
How to report a whistleblower reprisal complaint
If you have a whistleblower reprisal complaint involving DOT recovery funds, please report it to the OIG Hotline.