Accession Number:



Contractor Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program: Improvements Needed to Ensure Effective Implementation

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Whistleblowers play an important role in safeguarding the federal government against fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 introduced a pilot program to expand whistleblower rights against reprisal for executive agencies contractors, subcontractors, and grantee employees. Also, in 2013, the FAR was amended to require agencies to insert a contract clause to ensure contractors communicate rights to their employees for certain contracts. The act also contained a provision for GAO to report on the status of the pilot program. This report 1 describes the results of the whistleblower pilot program across 14 selected executive departments from July 1, 2013, to December 31, 2015 and 2 assesses the extent to which four departments implemented the pilot program. GAO analyzed survey data from 14 executive departments, which are a subset of all entities covered by the legislation selected four departments based on high and low contract funds awarded to conduct a more detailed review of the pilot program implementation interviewed agency officials and contractors and reviewed a non-generalizable sample of contracts included in the pilot program. GAO is making specific recommendations to the four selected departments to improve whistleblower protections policies and guidance and communication with contractors. The departments agreed with the recommendations and have taken or identified actions to address the recommendations.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Administration and Management
  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]