The Purpose of this award program is to encourage the reporting of waste, fraud, and mismanagement committed by WMATA employees, contractors, and subcontractors. See the press release here.
Whistleblower Award Pilot Program Rules
All WMATA employees and contractor and subcontractor employees, as well as members of the public, who voluntarily provide original information about possible waste, fraud, or mismanagement related to WMATA contracts that has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur are eligible. Only individuals (as opposed to entities) are eligible. You do not have to be a current WMATA employee or contractor to be eligible for an award.
The following are not eligible:
a. WMATA Board members and their staff
b. WMATA OIG Staff
a. The identity of submitters who request confidentiality will be protected as provided by OIG and WMATA policies. See P/I 13.4/4, The Office of the Inspector General, Section 5.04; P/I 7.8.1/3, Whistleblower Rights & Responsibilities, Section 5.02(c).
b. Consistent with those policies, OIG will keep your identity confidential on your request, unless OIG determines that disclosure of your identity is unavoidable during the course of an investigation. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this program, your name, Social Security Number, and other information required in the W-9 form will be required for payment of any award.
c. If you wish to submit information confidentially and still be eligible for an award, you need not include your WMATA or business contact information in the submission. You may instead include a personal email address where OIG can contact you to arrange for an interview and the exchange of any materials you wish to provide to support your submission.
a. A submitter whose information leads to either:
– A recovery by WMATA of at least $250,000; or
– A projected cost savings to WMATA of at least $1,000,000
is eligible, in the sole discretion of the WMATA OIG, to receive the lesser of $10,000 or 1% of the monies described above.
b. Awards are subject to the availability of funds and will be funded from non-federal sources.
a. What is the WMATA OIG Whistleblower Award Pilot Program?
– The OIG’s Whistleblower Award Pilot Program (WPP) is designed to provide monetary incentives for individuals to come forward and report possible waste, fraud, or mismanagement in the solicitation, award, or performance of WMATA contracts.
b. What is “original information?”
– Original information is information derived from the reporting individual’s independent (non-public) knowledge that is not already known by OIG.
c. What does it mean to “voluntarily provide?”
– Because WMATA employees and contractors are already obligated to cooperate with OIG, to voluntarily provide means to provide the information to OIG before being approached by OIG. It also means to provide the information to OIG before being approached by another law enforcement agency or regulator about the subject matter of the reported information, and before receiving a subpoena or other compulsory process relating to the subject matter of that information.
d. If I report the waste, fraud, or mismanagement to my supervisor, and they report it to OIG before I do, am I still eligible for an award?
– Yes. If you report the waste, fraud, or mismanagement to your supervisor and then report to OIG within thirty (30) days, we will consider you to have been the first to report, and thus have reported original information. You should state in your OIG submission to whom you reported the information and when.
e. Is there an appeal from a determination by OIG as to entitlement or amount of award?
– No. Award determinations are final and unappealable.
f. How will I know if my submission is eligible for an award?
– Once an investigation or audit has been closed and an award determination made, OIG will contact you and let you know.
– In most instances, OIG cannot provide updates on the status of active audits or investigations.
g. Can someone be barred from the WPP?
– Yes. Frivolous or fraudulent reporting will disqualify an individual from future eligibility.
h. Do I have to pay taxes on an OIG whistleblower award?
– OIG does not provide tax advice. You should consult a tax professional. WMATA may withhold applicable taxes from any whistleblower award payment.
This program is initially limited to waste, fraud, and mismanagement in the solicitation, award, and performance of WMATA contracts. After further evaluation, it may be expanded to include other WMATA activities.
This program does not affect any rights or responsibilities you may have under any applicable law or WMATA policies, including P/I 13.4/4, The Office of the Inspector General; and P/I 7.8.1/3, Whistleblower Rights & Responsibilities.