S. 241, Nonfederal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act of 2012

Cost Estimate
July 3, 2012

As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on April 25, 2012

S. 241 would amend federal law to give new legal protection to certain nonfederal employees (contractors, grantees, state and local government employees, or others employed by entities that receive federal funds) who report waste, fraud, or abuse involving federal funds. Specifically, under the bill, anyone who reports the misuse of federal funds could not be demoted, discharged, or discriminated against because of the disclosure.

Based on information from the offices of some federal Inspectors General (IGs), CBO estimates that implementing S. 241 would cost $85 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting the bill could affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies would be negligible. Enacting S. 241 would not affect revenues.

S. 241 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). Any costs to state or local governments would result from complying with conditions of assistance.