Reporting Alleged Fraud, Waste, Abuse or Mismanagement
FHFA-OIG depends upon FHFA, FHFA-OIG, and other Federal employees, and also on the public, to report information about those, whether inside or outside of the federal government, who waste, steal, or abuse government funds in connection with the Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), any of the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks), or the FHLBanks’ Office of Finance, or about mismanagement within FHFA.
Why should I contact FHFA-OIG?
FHFA has been placed in the extraordinary role of regulator and conservator of two Enterprises, which support over $5 trillion in mortgage loans and guarantees, and the American taxpayers have invested $187.5 billion in these Enterprises. All Americans have a stake in FHFA’s success and effectiveness.
Please contact FHFA-OIG if you have any information regarding:
- Possible waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, or other misconduct involving FHFA employees, programs, operations, contracts or subcontracts;
- Possible violations of Federal laws, regulations, rules, or policies pertaining to FHFA or to any of the regulated entities; or
- Possible unethical activities involving employees of FHFA or of the regulated entities.
How can I contact FHFA-OIG?
You may contact FHFA-OIG in one of several ways.
Use our telephone hotline: 1-800-793-7724
Submit information through our Online Allegation Form
Send us a written report by fax at (202) 318-0358
Send us a written report by mail at:
Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General
Attention: Office of Investigations - HOTLINE
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20219
What should my report include?
We ask you to provide us with as much information as possible and leads on any applicable data. The more information you can provide, the better chance we have of determining whether any wrongdoing has been committed.
To the extent possible, the information you provide to us should include:
- Who committed the potential wrongdoing (person, company or organization)?
- What did the individual or entity do?
- Where did the activity take place?
- When did it happen?
- How was it committed?
- Do you know why the person committed it?
- Who else has knowledge of the potential wrongdoing?
Please note a disclosure of waste, fraud, or abuse that includes information which is classified OR which is otherwise prohibited by law from release is not a protected disclosure under the whistleblower laws unless the disclosure is made to an OIG, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, or to Congress, even if you reasonably believe the information is evidence of waste, fraud, or abuse. Please also be aware that disclosures of classified information may not be transmitted using the FHFA-OIG’s unclassified hotline. For more information on how to properly provide classified information to the FHFA-OIG, please contact the FHFA-OIG’s hotline at 1-800-793-7724 or the FHFA-OIG Whistleblower Protection Coordinator.
Anonymity and Confidentiality
Individuals who report allegations to FHFA-OIG are not required to provide their identity. However, we encourage you to do so to help us investigate your allegations. FHFA-OIG provides confidentiality to individuals who contact us, subject to Sections 7(b) and 8M of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended. These provisions, and FHFA-OIG policy, prohibit FHFA-OIG from disclosing an individual's identity without his or her consent, unless the Inspector General determines that disclosure is unavoidable in the course of the investigation. Examples of such unavoidable disclosures may include: (1) disclosing your identity to other parties to the limited extent necessary to complete our investigation of your allegations; (2) including your identity in referrals made to other Federal or State law enforcement agencies if we believe you have alleged a criminal or civil violation within their jurisdiction; or (3) disclosing your identity if a court orders us to do so.
Whistleblower Protections for FHFA and FHFA-OIG Employees and for Employees of FHFA Contractors, Subcontractors and Grantees
Employees of FHFA-OIG, FHFA, and of FHFA’s contractors, subcontractors, and grantees perform an important service by reporting what they reasonably believe to be evidence of wrongdoing, and they should never be subject to or threatened with reprisal for doing so. Individuals or entities who make such reports are protected by Federal law from threatened or actual reprisal. FHFA-OIG has jurisdiction to investigate allegations of reprisal for whistleblowing by employees of FHFA contractors, subcontractors, and grantees.
FHFA-OIG's Whistleblower Protection Program
Pursuant to Section 3 of the Inspector General Act, FHFA-OIG has a Whistleblower Protection Coordinator and Program. FHFA-OIG provides information and assistance to whistleblowers reporting fraud, waste and abuse through its Whistleblower Protection program. This program carries out a number of key functions, including:
Ensuring that FHFA-OIG is promptly and thoroughly reviewing complaints of whistleblower retaliation that it receives, and that it is responding to whistleblowers in a timely fashion;
Educating FHFA-OIG employees and managers about prohibitions against retaliation for protected disclosures, and employees who have made or are contemplating making a protected disclosure about the rights and remedies against retaliation for protected disclosures;
Educating FHFA employees and managers about prohibitions against retaliation for protected disclosures, and employees who have made or are contemplating making a protected disclosure about the rights and remedies against retaliation for protected disclosures; and
Coordinating with OSC, other agencies, and non-governmental organizations on relevant matters as needed.
The Whistleblower Protection Coordinator for FHFA-OIG is available to discuss the protections against retaliation and how to make a protected disclosure, but cannot act as your legal representative or advocate. You may contact the Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How FHFA or FHFA-OIG Employees May File Whistleblower Reprisal Complaints
If you are a FHFA or FHFA-OIG employee and an adverse personnel action has been taken or threatened against you in reprisal for making a disclosure of wrongdoing within your component, to the OIG, or elsewhere, you may submit a complaint to the FHFA-OIG Hotline, or to OSC. If you submit your complaint to FHFA-OIG, we will review it and let you know whether it is appropriate for us to investigate or whether it should be referred elsewhere. Allegations of reprisal regarding EEO matters generally should be addressed through the EEO process.
In certain instances, an employee who has experienced retaliation because of a protected communication may file an appeal directly with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Personnel actions that are directly appealable to the MSPB include adverse actions, retirement appeals, performance-based removals or reductions in grade, denials of within-grade salary increases, reduction-in-force actions, and denials of restoration or employment rights.
Important Notice: Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 Required Statement — Nondisclosure Policies, Forms and Agreements (NDAs)
Nothing may interfere with a current or former federal employee’s right to blow the whistle, not even an NDA signed by that employee. By law, the following language applies to every Government NDA, no matter when it was signed or what it says in the document itself:
"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."
The following Executive orders and statutory provisions are controlling in the case of any conflict with an agency non-disclosure policy, form, or agreement:
- Executive Order No. 13526;
- 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);
- Section 2302(b)(8) of title 5, United States Code, as amended by the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (governing disclosures of illegality, waste, fraud, abuse or public health or safety threats);
- Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (51 US.C. § 3121-6) (governing disclosures that could expose confidential Government agents);
- The statutes which protect against disclosure that may compromise the national security, including sections 641, 793, 794, 798, and 952 of title 18, United States Code; and
- Section 4(b) of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. § 783(a)).