WASHINGTON — The Pentagon recovered $13.2 million in six months from private contractors who committed violations in connection with awards, the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General said.

The figure, which represents the majority of the $13.9 million recovered through investigations of allegations initially reported to the DoD Hotline for fraud, waste and abuse, comes from the OIG’s semiannual report to Congress that highlight the audits and investigations conducted from October through March.

During that time, more than 8,000 allegations of wrongdoing were submitted to the hotline. That number includes complaints from civilian employees, private contractors and military personnel.

Of the allegations, the plurality fell under the category of personal misconduct or ethical violations. Personnel matters, procurement and contract administration, and retaliation all followed with relatively little margin between the three, according to the report released May 26.

For all the complaints, less than half had cases opened in response. The 3,485 cases which were opened in the latest collection period were referred to the appropriate investigative component. The report went on to say that more than 3,000 cases were closed during the same time frame, including those opened during previous reporting periods and rolled over.

Of the investigations that were closed, 10 resulted in substantiated claims of whistleblower reprisal. Two of the cases involved the same Air Force major who threatened to write weak performance evaluations for two different Air Force captains. Both captains engaged in protected communications with higher authorities relating to a threat the major made to whip one of the captain’s child with a belt, according to the report.

Corrective action against the major is pending in both cases, it said.

Ryan White is a reporting intern at Sightline Media. He is currently a senior at The University of Maryland, College Park studying journalism.

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