Northwestern University has been awarded funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). In order to accept ARRA funding, employers must have in place policies prohibiting retaliation against employees who make good faith reports of misconduct (See the Policy for Reviewing Alleged Research Misconduct and Standards for Business Conduct.) Northwestern University already has a Policy on Non-Retaliation and will provide appropriate support to reporting employees to protect against retaliation and respond to concerns of retaliation or unfair treatment linked to the employee’s reporting.
ARRA expressly states that:
- As a receiver of stimulus funds, the University may not discharge, demote or otherwise discriminate against a University employee as reprisal for disclosing information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of:
- gross mismanagement of an agency contract or grant relating to covered funds;
- a gross waste of covered funds;
- a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety related to the implementation or use of covered funds;
- an abuse of authority related to the implementation or use of covered funds; or
- a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to an agency contract or grant awarded or issued relating to covered funds.
- Under ARRA, an employee may make a disclosure of the information described above to one or more of the following:
- the Recovery Accountability and Transparency (RAAT) Board;
- an Inspector General of a federal agency;
- the Comptroller General;
- a member of Congress;
- a State or Federal regulatory or law enforcement agency;
- a person with supervisory authority over the employee or such other person working for the employer who has the authority to investigate, discover or terminate misconduct;
- a court or grand jury;
- or the head of a Federal agency or their representatives.
The University has a confidential reporting service that may be used for this purpose (toll-free 1-866-294-3545 or via a confidential Web link), where anonymous reports may be made. In addition, you also have the option of reporting your concerns directly to the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services through the OIG Hotline. The choice of which reporting option(s) to use rests with the individual making the report.
A full description of your rights and remedies provided under the act can be found by clicking on the following link:
- Division A, Title XV, section 1553, Protecting State and Local Government and Contractor Whistleblowers
Questions may be addressed to the Office for Research Integrity at email@example.com or (312) 503-0054.