False Claims Act – Special Report "Federal Procurement Trends for 2011": Practitioners Say Expansion of FCA Liability, Congressional Oversight Means 'Open Hunting Season' on Contractors
Jan.24.2011 — BNA Federal Contracts Report
Government Contracts Group partner Robert T. Rhoad and White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group partner Kelly T. Currie are featured in BNA's "Federal Procurement Trends for 2011" special report in a piece about the controversy surrounding the governments effort to curtail waste, fraud, and abuse. For example, according to the article, "the False Claims Act is a primary tool for punishing those said to be guilty of overbilling or otherwise defrauding the federal government. But contracting practitioners (say) that recent efforts to increase the government's ability to recover under the FCA place unnecessary and detrimental risks on contractors. They predict that these risks will increase in the coming year as the government steps up its efforts to rein in fraud and collect much-needed funds for cash-strapped agencies.
According to Rhoad, "The government has used the FCA successfully since 1986 to recover money from contractors accused of fraud…With the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) amendments to the FCA, that trend will escalate."
According to Currie, "Congress is sending all kinds of signals that it’s going to apply close scrutiny because government spending is a big focus…I think there’s an overall tone in Washington that's calling for more oversight, so companies have to be prepared to defend themselves on multiple fronts."