A recent report by the Pentagon’s inspector general shows that the Defense Department, especially the Pentagon, harbors a culture that punishes whistleblowers.
The False Claims Act allows private parties -- often the employees of companies that contract with the government -- to file lawsuits on the government's behalf. When these whistleblowers have evidence of fraud, waste or abuse in a government contract, they can sue to help the government reclaim the money. In exchange for their service, the whistleblowers receive between 15 and 30 percent of the total recovery as a reward.
The Department of Justice has accused Lockheed Martin Corporation, certain affiliated companies, and at least one executive of making false claims against the government and accepting kickbacks in regard to a multibillion-dollar contract. The contract was to clean up a nuclear site in Hanford, Washington.
"Businessmen and companies that lie to get their hands on taxpayer money will be held accountable for their actions," said a U.S. Attorney. "When some people cheat, those who play by the rules are put at a disadvantage."
Some people grew up in homes where telling on another person for their wrongdoings, otherwise referred to as tattling, was frowned upon. This is perhaps due to the idea that children’s zest for telling on a sibling is irritating for a parent. It could also have something to do with an effort to teach children to take responsibility for their own actions. However, telling on someone for their unethical or illegal behavior as an adult often has a completely different effect.
"Patients and taxpayers rightly should expect that referrals be based on sound medical judgement, not driven by thinly veiled bribes, as alleged here," said a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.