In order to support U.S. businesses, the Buy American Act (BAA) gives a preference to American goods in the federal procurement process. Although there are several broad exemptions, the BAA generally requires the federal government purchase domestic goods when acquired for public use. If a contractor or manufacturer misrepresents the nature of its goods in the procurement process, it could be in violations of the False Claims Act.
For instance, if a contractor sells the government goods that were manufactured abroad, but represented that the goods were made in the U.S. during the procurement process, it could be subject to significant fines and penalties under the False Claims Act. Moreover, a whistleblower who comes forward to report the procurement fraud could be entitled to a share of the government’s financial recovery.
Procurement fraud can also include misrepresentations about products in the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program. In order to be awarded a MAS contract, and thereby gain access to the broad government marketplace, a contractor must provide the General Services Administration (GSA) with complete, accurate and current information about their commercial sales practices, including discounts afforded to their commercial customers. If a company fails to disclose certain discounts or incentives offered to other customers, the procurement fraud could be in violations of the False Claims Act.
The federal government takes allegations of procurement fraud very seriously. The Department of Justice obtained more than $2.2 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022.
Contact a Procurement Fraud Lawyer at Goldberg Kohn
The whistleblower attorneys at Goldberg Kohn are committed to fighting procurement fraud and protecting the rights of whistleblowers who report allegations of fraud on the government. If you suspect procurement fraud, or would like to discuss a possible False Claims Act case, contact us online to schedule a free, confidential appointment with one of our whistleblower attorneys.