July 24, 2013 — Fraud in government contracts costs taxpayers money. The federal False Claims Act enables the government to work with tipsters and informants to fight government contractor fraud. Under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, whistleblowers are authorized to file suit on behalf of the government and share in the government’s recovery.
Engineering Firm to Settle Claims that Its GSA Contract Violated Federal Law
Virginia-based Science Applications Int’l Corp. (SAIC) will pay $5.75 million to settle government allegations that it violated the False Claims Act, according to the Justice Department. The government alleged that the company submitted claims to the General Services Administration (GSA) under an engineering and consulting contract that it knew violated federal procurement regulations.
In 2006, the GSA awarded to SAIC a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) for provision of professional engineering and consulting services. The federal government claimed that SAIC personnel gave the GSA false information to induce officials to award the BPA to SAIC. The government alleged that SAIC had an individual present himself as a Director of Defense executive to promote the company for the BPA.
The claims against SAIC were originally raised in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Timothy Ferner, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel. SAIC performed many of its tasks under the BPA at MacDill Air Force Base. Federal authorities intervened in the case, and Mr. Ferner will receive $977,500 of the settlement.
False Claims Act Lets Whistleblowers Attack Fraud Against the Government
Whistleblowers are the government’s most valuable allies in fighting fraud. It is important for tipsters and informants to understand their rights before they collaborate with the federal government, however. The qui tam lawyers at Waters & Kraus provide skilled counsel every day to informants in government contractor fraud cases. Contact us by email or phone our whistleblower attorneys at 855.784.0268 to discover how we can assist you.