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Liability Insurance for Federal Employees and Contractors

FEDS November Newsletter

DEA Polygraph Use Triggers Increased Scrutiny of Hiring Managers
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is undergoing policy changes that may cause previous managerial decisions to be scrutinized under new standards. The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (DOJ OIG) has reported numerous concerns about the DEA’s use of polygraph examinations in screenings of prospective and current employees. These concerns arose as part of an ongoing compliance review of the DEA’s hiring process, sparking calls from DOJ OIG for immediate attention from agency officials and shining a spotlight on DEA management.

DOJ OIG claims to have uncovered numerous inconsistencies in the implementation of the DEA’s polygraph policy, including hiring applicants who have not successfully completed the polygraph examination. The IG reported that these issues occurred in the hiring of 66 special agents and 11 intelligence research specialists. Additionally, another three special agents did not complete the testing as required. Auditors also found that the agency allowed task force officers who have failed a polygraph examination to remain on DEA task forces. Some instances of improper handling of the polygraph process were reportedly tied to applicants with relatives who currently or previously worked for the DEA.  

The successful passing of a polygraph examination has long been regarded as an important part of the hiring process at DEA. Hiring individuals who have not successfully completed the polygraph process has resulted in potential security risks to DEA operations, as well as the appearance of unfair hiring practices. To mitigate these risks, the DEA has agreed to review employees who previously failed polygraph examinations and require them to retake the appropriate examinations for their position. Additionally, the DEA has committed to adhering more strictly to policy, barring them from hiring applicants who fail their polygraph examination.

Many federal managers know that there is a lot of agency pressure to fill positions, specifically in law enforcement. Decisions made under hiring practices deemed "the norm” in an office may later turn out to be part of controversial or improper hiring practices. If this is the case, those decisions may be scrutinized under the critical lens of new policies. Those involved could be subject to allegations of wrongdoing or discrimination, resulting in administrative actions, criminal investigations, and even civil lawsuits. If an allegation is made against you, it is a necessity, not luxury, to have knowledgeable and effective counsel advocating on your behalf. Your agency attorney is not your attorney. It is the job of the agency attorney to defend the agency – not you.

As a federal manager, you need to have counsel that has specific experience representing employees with your professional vulnerabilities. FEDS Protection offers federal employee policies with $1 million, $2 million, or $3 million in civil liability protection for attorney’s fees and indemnity costs in the event you are sued in your civil capacity.  The FEDS policy also includes $200,000 of legal representation coverage per incident for administrative actions and $100,000 of coverage for criminal defense costs.  Annual premiums for FEDS Protection PLI start at $290 and federal managers and law enforcement officers are eligible for a reimbursement of up to 50% the cost of their PLI policy through their agency.  To learn more about how a FEDS PLI policy can protect you and your career, visit or call (866) 955-FEDS, M-F 8:30am-6pm to speak directly to a representative.

*This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Are You a Retiring Federal Employee or Leaving Federal Service and Considering Contracting with the Government?
If yes, consider FEDS Protection for your government contracting insurance needs. At FEDS Protection, we also support Federal Contractors by providing insurance coverage specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of today's federal contractors, including general and professional liability, Defense Base Act Insurance, and Foreign Liability coverage.  In our experience, many small businesses need assistance in navigating the insurance portion of a government RFP.

The federal government is our specific focus and area of expertise. If you are looking to review your current or upcoming insurance needs, including the unique insurance requirements of any contract involving civilian employees overseas (requiring DBA Insurance and Foreign Liability coverage) please contact our government contractor specialist Deb Moylan at 301-284-8887 or

Deb Moylan can help you bridge the gap so that your next contract will lead to success!

Inclusion in Action

FEDS Protection wants to celebrate those who work together from diverse backgrounds that move our country forward. These efforts are not and cannot be made alone. They are completed each day with empathy, energy, and intentionality. While some moments can be awkward, small wins can be awesome.  Regardless, each inclusive action is worth the effort. 
We hope each of you can play a small part in the path toward progress and continue to do so in your own way. We will continue to stand with you in this effort every step of the journey.


"Like many of us, I have worked with many troubled accounts, large loans, legal cases, and environmental assessments.   I currently supervise employees, but for much of my career I did not.   I have maintained a long-term relationship with FEDS and the peace of mind that goes with it.   Although grateful that I have never needed to file a claim, I have used their legal consultations.  I personally know FSA employees that HAVE needed the service and found it to be as advertised; invaluable!  FEDS has been a big supporter of NACS, including the important information they provide on employee issues.   Unfortunately, we can all agree that common sense does not protect us in today’s world.  It is helpful to know that we have access to an advocate that we can trust.  I highly recommend FEDS.  They have been very responsive to my needs, and I would not come to work without them."
- John Gehrke Sanders (NACS, Past President)

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Contact us if you or your agency are interested in a webinar or brochures that provide federal employees best practices on how to protect themselves with a federal employee professional liability insurance policy like the one offered by FEDS Protection. This benefit is so important, it could be partially reimbursed for many federal employees!

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