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UC/DOE Contract Clause I.151

3.908 Pilot program for enhancement of contractor employee whistleblower protections.
3.908-1 Scope of section.
(a) This section implements 41 U.S.C. 4712.
(b) This section does not apply to—
(1) DoD, NASA, and the Coast Guard; or
(2) Any element of the intelligence community, as defined in section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003(4)). This section does not apply to any disclosure made by an employee of a contractor or subcontractor of an element of the intelligence community if such disclosure-
(i) Relates to an activity of an element of the intelligence community; or
(ii) Was discovered during contract or subcontract services provided to an element of the intelligence community.
3.908-2 Definitions.
As used in this section—
“Abuse of authority” means an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority that is inconsistent with the mission of the executive agency concerned or the successful performance of a contract of such agency.
“Inspector General” means an Inspector General appointed under the Inspector General Act of 1978 and any Inspector General that receives funding from, or has oversight over contracts awarded for, or on behalf of, the executive agency concerned.
3.908-3 Policy.
(a) Contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee as a reprisal for disclosing, to any of the entities listed at paragraph (b) of this subsection, information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of gross mismanagement of a Federal contract, a gross waste of Federal funds, an abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a Federal contract (including the competition for or negotiation of a contract). A reprisal is prohibited even if it is undertaken at the request of an executive branch official, unless the request takes the form of a non-discretionary directive and is within the authority of the executive branch official making the request.
(b) Entities to whom disclosure may be made.
(1) A Member of Congress or a representative of a committee of Congress.
(2) An Inspector General.
(3) The Government Accountability Office.
(4) A Federal employee responsible for contract oversight or management at the relevant agency.
(5) An authorized official of the Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency.
(6) A court or grand jury.
(7) A management official or other employee of the contractor or subcontractor who has the responsibility to investigate, discover, or address misconduct.
(c) An employee who initiates or provides evidence of contractor or subcontractor misconduct in any judicial or administrative proceeding relating to waste, fraud, or abuse on a Federal contract shall be deemed to have made a disclosure.
3.908-4 Filing complaints.
A contractor or subcontractor employee who believes that he or she has been discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against contrary to the policy in 3.908-3 of this section may submit a complaint with the Inspector General of the agency concerned. Procedures for submitting fraud, waste, abuse, and whistleblower complaints are generally accessible on agency Office of Inspector General Hotline or Whistleblower Internet sites. A complaint by the employee may not be brought under 41 U.S.C. 4712 more than three years after the date on which the alleged reprisal took place.
3.908-5 Procedures for investigating complaints.
Investigation of complaints by the Inspector General will be in accordance with 41 U.S.C. 4712(b).
3.908-6 Statutory remedies.
(a) Agency response to Inspector General report. Not later than 30 days after receiving an Inspector General report in accordance with 41 U.S.C. 4712, the head of the agency shall—
(1) Determine whether sufficient basis exists to conclude that the contractor or subcontractor has subjected the employee who submitted the complaint to a reprisal as prohibited by 3.908-3; and
(2) Issue an order denying relief or take one or more of the following actions:
(i) Order the contractor to take affirmative action to abate the reprisal.
(ii) Order the contractor or subcontractor to reinstate the complainant-employee to the position that the person held before the reprisal, together with compensatory damages (including back pay), employment benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment that would apply to the person in that position if the reprisal had not been taken.
(iii) Order the contractor or subcontractor to pay the complainant-employee an amount equal to the aggregate amount of all costs and expenses (including attorneys' fees and expert witnesses’ fees) that were reasonably incurred by the complainant for, or in connection with, bringing the complaint regarding the reprisal, as determined by the head of the agency.
(b) Complainant’s right to go to court. If the head of the agency issues an order denying relief or has not issued an order within 210 days after the submission of the complaint or within 30 days after the expiration of an extension of time granted in accordance with 41 U.S.C. 4712(b)(2)(B) for the submission of the Inspector General’s report on the investigative findings of the complaint to the head of the agency, the contractor or subcontractor, and the complainant, and there is no showing that such delay is due to the bad faith of the complainant—
(1) The complainant shall be deemed to have exhausted all administrative remedies with respect to the complaint; and
(2) The complainant may bring a de novo action at law or equity against the contractor or subcontractor to seek compensatory damages and other relief available under 41 U.S.C. 4712 in the appropriate district court of the United States, which shall have jurisdiction over such an action without regard to the amount in controversy. Such an action shall, at the request of either party to the action, be tried by the court with a jury. An action under this authority may not be brought more than two years after the date on which remedies are deemed to have been exhausted.
(c) Admissibility in evidence. An Inspector General determination and an agency head order denying relief under this section shall be admissible in evidence in any de novo action at law or equity brought pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 4712.
(d) No waiver. The rights and remedies provided for in 41 U.S.C. 4712 may not be waived by any agreement, policy, form, or condition of employment.
3.908-7 Enforcement of orders.
(a) Whenever a contractor or subcontractor fails to comply with an order issued under 3.908-6(a)(2) of this section, the head of the agency concerned shall file an action for enforcement of the order in the U.S. district court for a district in which the reprisal was found to have occurred. In any action brought pursuant to this authority, the court may grant appropriate relief, including injunctive relief, compensatory and exemplary damages, and attorney fees and costs. The complainant-employee upon whose behalf an order was issued may also file such an action or join in an action filed by the head of the agency.
(b) Any person adversely affected or aggrieved by an order issued under 3.908-6(a)(2) may obtain review of the order’s conformance with 41 U.S.C. 4712 and its implementing regulations, in the U.S. court of appeals for a circuit in which the reprisal is alleged in the order to have occurred. No petition seeking such review may be filed more than 60 days after issuance of the order by the head of the agency. Filing such an appeal shall not act to stay the enforcement of the order of the head of an agency, unless a stay is specifically entered by the court.
3.908-8 Classified information.
41 U.S.C. 4712 does not provide any right to disclose classified information not otherwise provided by law.
3.908-9 Contract clause.
The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.203-17, Contractor Employee Whistleblower Rights and Requirement to Inform Employees of Whistleblower Rights, in all solicitations and contracts that exceed the simplified acquisition threshold.

Last updated 08/07/2015
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