Federal Employees and Employees of Government Contractors
FHFA-OIG often depends on individuals, among other things, to provide information, to confirm information, and to report wrongdoing. Accordingly, the Inspector General Act of 1978 requires FHFA-OIG to provide confidentiality to all Federal employees who make complaints or provide information to FHFA-OIG. FHFA-OIG will not disclose the identity of such employees without their consent, unless the Inspector General determines that such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation.
FHFA-OIG also is sensitive to whistleblowers. A whistleblower is an individual who believes his or her organization is engaged in or willfully permits unethical or unlawful activities and reports that information. The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) provides protection rights to Federal employees. Under the WPA, Federal employees who are whistleblowers may seek protection by the Office of Special Counsel and the Merit Systems Protection Board against retaliation resulting from their disclosures of fraud, waste, or abuse to FHFA-OIG. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 provides similar protection for employees of Federal contractors who report fraud, waste, or abuse to FHFA-OIG.
Other Complainants and Witnesses
Complainants and witnesses who are not Federal employees and are not employed by government contractors may anonymously communicate with the FHFA-OIG Hotline. Alternatively, they may request confidentiality, if they chose not to make an anonymous communication or are contacted by FHFA-OIG.
Further, in addition to statutory confidentiality, whistleblower protection, and the ability to make anonymous complaints, various Federal laws and regulations (e.g., the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure) limit disclosure of information commonly in the possession of FHFA-OIG. Accordingly, FHFA-OIG will endeavor to maintain the confidentiality of all non-public information that it possesses.
Continuing Responsibility to Report Allegations of Fraud, Waste, and Abuse to Internal Authorities
Although you are encouraged to provide information and report wrongdoing to FHFA-OIG, cooperating with FHFA-OIG may not satisfy your responsibility to apprise your employer of instances of fraud, waste, and abuse. Please consult your employer’s policies and procedures for details of your reporting responsibilities.