News in Government Procurement Fraud and False Claims

We found a very interesting article from last week’s Legal Times, with an excerpt of interest to whistleblower lawyers as follows:

“Last fall, the Justice Department launched a National Procurement Fraud Task Force to focus “resources at all levels of government to increase criminal enforcement” in areas of procurement fraud. The stepped-up attention to this area throughout the government may signal that the $3.1 billion record in federal fraud recoveries in 2006 could soon be broken. More than 50 inspectors general from across all government departments and agencies also are actively pursuing thousands of investigations.”

“In addition, powerful newly installed Democratic committee and subcommittee chairs in Congress are launching dozens of oversight investigations of alleged government and contractor abuses, focusing on the reconstruction effort in Iraq and in the U.S. Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina, numerous areas of military and homeland-security procurement, the pricing of pharmaceuticals and other significant areas of federal contracting. For instance, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., in the first week of February began one set of hearings on alleged waste, fraud and abuse by government contractors in Iraq and another set of hearings on alleged overcharging by drug companies in federal health programs.”

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