Very important amendments to the nation’s major whistleblower law, the False Claims Act, cleared the House Judiciary Committee today. The False Claims Act Corrections Act of 2007 is intended to restore the False Claims Act to its originally intended usefulness. It will eliminate many “loopholes” that dishonest government contractors have used to avoid liability.
Our whistleblower lawyer blog has often written about the False Claims Act, the qui tam law that empowers private citizens to report fraud as whistleblowers or “relators,” and to share in the government’s recovery of damages. We have tracked the development of the Senate version of the new whistleblower law amendments, the False Claims Act Correction Act (S. 2041), since it was proposed last September by a bipartisan group that included Senators Grassley, Durbin, Leahy, Specter and Graham.
Taxpayers Against Fraud (with which I am proud to be associated) summarizes its key provisions as follows:
–to clarify that False Claims Act liability protects all federal funds;
–to solely vest the Government with the power to dismiss whistleblower- filed False Claims Act lawsuits that are based on public allegations;
–to remove confusion over the statute of limitations period;
–to explicitly clarify that the False Claims Act applies to those who discover an overpayment and decide to pocket the funds; and
–to provide strengthened employment protection for whistleblowers.
The bill moves on to consideration by the entire House of Representatives. We will continue to report on the progress of this essential bill, and applaud those who have worked for its passage!