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Whistleblower Information

Whistleblower Retaliation

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (WPA) and the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 Enhanced by the Act of 2012 provide protection rights for Federal employees against retaliation for whistleblowing activities. Moreover, Title 41, United States Code, Section 4712, protects employees of contractors, subcontractors, grantees and subgrantees from retaliation for making a protected disclosure.

Whistleblowers perform an important service for the public and NSF when they report evidence of wrongdoing. All NSF employees, contractors, subcontractors, awardees, and subawardees are protected from retaliation for making a protected disclosure.

If you believe you have been subject to retaliation for protected whistleblowing you may contact either of the following offices:

Employees also may seek whistleblower protection from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) , an independent executive agency whose responsibilities include investigating whistleblower complaints and litigating cases before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Information on filing a complaint with OSC may be found on their website at http://www.osc.gov.

Whistleblower Protection Coordinator

The WPA also directed Inspectors General to designate a Whistleblower Ombudsman to educate agency employees prohibitions against, and rights and remedies relating to, retaliation for making protected disclosures. The Ombudsman is prohibited from acting as an employee's or former employee's legal representative, agent, or advocate. The Whistleblower Ombudsman title was changed to the Whistleblower Protection Coordinator in 2017. NSF employees may contact the NSF OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator at ombudsman@nsf.gov.

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB)

MSPB has the authority to enforce OSC decisions and to order corrective and disciplinary actions, which can include restoring one's job; reversing suspensions; disciplinary action against a supervisor; reimbursement of attorney, medical, or other costs; and damages. More information on whistleblower MSPB appeals is available at https://www.mspb.gov/appeals/whistleblower.htm..

Additional Resources