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Allegations - The Division of Program Integrity maintains authority to conduct reviews using the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditing standards as guidelines for conducting reviews provisioned by certain authorities.

Report Allegations of Fraud, Abuse, Waste and Misconduct to the NIH​

All NIH employees and employees of NIH contractors have a responsibility to assist in efforts to combat fraud, waste, and abuse in all NIH programs and to report such matters. Any activities that may be improper should be reported​. Employees of NIH grant recipient organizations who become aware of real or apparent fraud, abuse, and waste of financial assistance funds are also encouraged to make a report to the NIH.​

Report Criminal Allegations and Whistleblower Retaliation to the HHS OIG

If DPI receives allegations where there are indicators of possible criminal violations, DPI refers those allegations to the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG). Employees of NIH, NIH contractors and employees of NIH grant recipients can also make allegations of suspected criminal violations such as fraudulent claims, false applications for contracts/grants, and crimes or gross misconduct committed by employees or contractors (see HHS OIG website for full list​) directly to the HHS OIG. In addition, allegations of Whistleblower Retaliation made by NIH grant recipients or contractors must be made directly to the HHS OIG.

How to Report Fraud, Waste, Abuse and Misconduct to NIH​

The Division of Program Integrity (DPI) is responsible for conducting reviews of allegations involving (1) misuse of NIH grant or contractor funds, (2) grantee or contractor conflicts of interest, and (3) other misconduct or misuses of NIH resources by NIH employee or others doing business with NIH. See below under “Allegations DPI Does Not Review” for a list of allegations commonly misdirected to DPI.

To assist you, the Office of Management Assessment (OMA) maintains a dedicated email address​ and phone hotline (301) 496-5586 which offers a confidential means for reporting vital information. To the best of your ability, please provide a summary of the allegation that includes the following information when contacting DPI:

​​​​         1) Type of complaint: (fraud, conflicts of financial interest, embezzlement, misuse of funds, equipment, facilities, misuse of grants or contracts funds, undisclosed foreign affiliation, violations of policy or terms of grant award, non-criminal improper conduct that affects the performance of official duties to include negligent or abusive conduct, or conduct that violates NIH policy)

         2) NIH Institute of Center affected by your allegation of fraud, waste, abuse or misconduct.

         3) Grant or contract number.

         4) Name, job title and contact information (if known) for individuals against whom allegations are being made.

         5) Grant or contract numbers.

         6) Time period when alleged violation occurred.

         7) Location where alleged violation occurred.​

         8) Names of any corroborating witnesses to the alleged violation.

         9) If you do not wish to remain anonymous* – please provide your name, email address and telephone number.

Allegations DPI Does Not Review

DPI does not review the following types of allegations:

Office to Contact
Scientific Misconduct 
Extramural Research Integrity Liaison Officer , Office of Extramural Research, NIH
Human Subject Matters
Animal Welfare Matters
Criminal Activities​
​Personnel Matters
​Discrimination and Harassment 
​Disputes Between Contractors and Subcontractors
​NIH does not have a direct contractual or legal relationship with contractors

Collaboration with HHS OIG Office of Investigations

The DPI is also responsible for collaborating with the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG).  DPI liaises and collaborates with HHS OIG Investigations and the OIG Hotline as follows:

  • Reviews cases that the OIG refers to NIH for administrative action when the Department of Justice (DoJ) declines prosecution.

  • Refers cases to the OIG for investigation when there are indicators of possible criminal violations.

  • Participates in providing advice to the OIG and DoJ regarding False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. ¤¤​ 3729-3733) cases that involve NIH programs. 

  • Coordinates responses to information requests for OIG investigations of NIH programs or employees.

  • Has lead responsibility for cases received through the OIG Hotline.

Review Process

The DPI uses the following process to review allegations within its purview:




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Contacting DPI​

Deborah Kearse, Director​

Division of Program Integrity

O​ffice of Management Assessment

National Institutes of Health

6705 Rockledge Drive, RK1 – RM 605-Q

Bethesda, MD 20817​

DPI Main Contact: 301-496-5586

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Last modified: 1/16/2024 1:34 PM