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Whistleblower Protection and Prohibited Personnel Practices

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 was signed into law on November 27, 2012. The Act strengthens protection for federal employees who report waste, fraud, and abuse in government operations.  The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent agency that protects federal employees from "prohibited personnel practices," including whistleblower retaliation.  OSC also provides an independent, secure channel for disclosing and resolving wrongdoing in federal agencies.  Please see the resources below for more information about whistleblower protections and prohibited personnel practices.

Notice as to Non-Disclosure Policies, Forms, or Agreements

As an OCC employee, you may have been required to sign a non-disclosure policy, form, or agreement to access certain information. You should read the statement below as if it were incorporated into any signed non-disclosure policy, form or agreement. The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act requires that any non-disclosure policy, form or agreement contain the following statement:

  • These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive order relating to (1) classified information, (2) communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other whistleblower protection. The definitions, requirements, obligations, rights, sanctions, and liabilities created by controlling Executive orders and statutory provisions are incorporated into this agreement and are controlling.

Controlling Authorities

  • Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, Pub. L. No. 101–12, as amended by Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-199, codified at 5 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.
  • Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation (No FEAR) Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107–174, codified at 5 U.S.C. 2301 note
  • The Inspector General Act of 1978, Pub. L. No. 95-452, as amended, codified at 5 U.S.C. app. 3
  • Section 7211 of Title 5, United States Code (governing disclosures to Congress)
  • Section 1034 of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Whistleblower Protection Act (governing disclosure to Congress by members of the military)
  • Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, codified at 50 U.S.C. 421 et seq. (governing disclosures that could expose confidential Government agents)
  • The criminal statutes of Title 18 protecting against disclosures that may compromise national security, specifically, sections 641, 793, 794, 798 and 952
  • Section 4(b) of the Subversive Activities Act of 1950, codified at 50 U.S.C. 783(b)
  • Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information
  • Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information
  • Treasury Order 105-19, Delegation of Original Classification Authority; Requirements for Downgrading and Declassification
  • Treasury Order 114-01, Treasury Office of Inspector General
  • Treasury Order 115-01, Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
  • Treasury Directive 27-12, Organization and Functions of the Office of Inspector General
  • Treasury Directive 40-01, Responsibilities of and to the Inspector General
  • Treasury Directive 15-03, Department of the Treasury Intelligence Information System Security Policy Manual

Whistleblower Protection/Prohibited Personnel Practices Information

The following resources provide information regarding Prohibited Personnel Practices and Whistleblower Protection: