Limits on Nondisclosure Agreements

Federal Employees


Pursuant to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, the following statement applies to every nondisclosure policy, form, or agreement of the Federal Government, including those in effect before the Act's effective date of December 27, 2012:


“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 Office of Special Counsel has identified the following list of Executive orders and statutory provisions that it considers controlling in the case of any conflict with a USAID nondisclosure 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 (50 U.S.C. § 421, et seq.) (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 Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. § 783(b)).

As revised by OIG September 18, 2014