Threat of Whistleblowers to Federal Contractors
Provided by HG.org
Whistleblowers are often helpful in uncovering problems, laws broken, violations in regulations, and similar complications within a business. However, these persons are often a serious problem for companies with federal contracts, and this could lead to a loss of sales, dissolution of the business and severe penalties incurred.
Whistleblowers are critical to the function in society to uncover corruption it the workplace. Through uncovering the violations that take place in the company, these individuals are able to expose offenses and broken laws and regulations. When the supervisor or upper management to include the owner is engaged in these problems, this could affect other aspects of business such as contracts and client relationships. It is crucial for the company to retain contractual agreements for product and service sales. However, if a whistleblower reveals the corruption, these contracts and deals are often removed as an option for current transactions and future business.
Federal contracts often involve several additional factors in keeping in line with the conditions necessary to sell with the federal government. When a whistleblower has revealed illegal practices, the company could lose the contract and may even face federal criminal charges. While this affects the owner or management in severe ways, the rest of the company could be held accountable for these actions as well. The business could be dissolved or penalized with layoffs. Penalties are incurred and other punishments are often levied. However, it is important for the federal government to disassociate with these companies when a whistleblower has shown the corruption to have been part of the interactions.
The Insider Threat Program
In 2011, the Insider Threat Program was initiated by the federal government due to possible leaks of classified information within various agencies. Due to this regulation, also known as the ITP, almost all federal agencies are required to implement these to discover, identify and address all insider threats found. These threats often come as current or former employees of the agency that have access to numerous types of classified data, networks or similar locations that may harm the United States through leaks and selling the information. This is where federal whistleblowers are most found as a deterrent, detection method and to mitigate these threats.
Many have criticized the ITP even though the Whistleblower Protection Act was created to protect federal employees that act as whistleblowers from possible retaliation activity when disclosing data about corrupt actions and misconduct that occurs within the agency. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and many are harmed in the process due to direct supervisor collusion. Advancements in these processes are still an ongoing problem, and some employees that work with companies with federal contracts are injured through termination, demotion and various other penalties when protections are not a priority. It is necessary for many of these workers to seek legal help.
The Problem and Threat
The threat to federal contractors is that a whistleblower may be one or multiple employees that are part of the contractual agreement. They could be part of the work to ensure that there are no corrupt or illegal actions taking place. The threat to the owner of a business when he or she has engaged in negative actions such as false claims, selling expired consumables and similar issues is clear when a whistleblower has become part of the contract. With protections in place, these persons may not be known or may be tasked with watching the actions and activity within the company.
Several problems exist for whistleblowers when they are tied to the United States government along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ITP. They must register with the agency as a whistleblower for any protections to be provided. However, this places a target on these persons for possible retaliation from supervisors and others that may have been revealed as corrupt within an agency. Others may target them such as coworkers and upper management in an agency. Even when working with federal contractors, this could leave them vulnerable when their actions are what keep corruption away or at bay.
Legal Help for Whistleblowers
No matter who the whistleblower is working for, it is possible to seek legal assistance through a lawyer when retaliation is a likely conclusion of the actions these employees accomplish. It is important to hire a legal representative for protection and, in certain instances, to seek litigation against a company. The lawyer will protect his or her rights and keep him or her from negative consequences.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.