What is procurement fraud?
Procurement fraud is a common area of fraud under both the federal and state False Claims Acts. Broadly speaking, government procurement refers to the mechanism by which the government acquires goods, services and property. The world of government contracting is subject to rampant abuse and fraud, often only realized by whistleblowers.
Whistleblowers play a critical role in reporting on procurement fraud typically by filing suit under the False Claims Act.
Government procurement activity is highly regulated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (or “FAR”) and several other federal statutes and regulations. These laws and regulations are complicated and determining whether whistleblower information shows a material breach of a procurement contract or procurement business requires analysis from an experienced whistleblower law firm.
Common methods of procurement fraud occur in industries spanning from construction, to food suppliers, technology service providers, contractors of all sorts and outsourced providers of all kinds, and can include:
- Bid-rigging or other bidding manipulation.
- Falsifying invoices and overcharging the government for services under contract.
- Use of inferior or worthless products in the manufacture or provision of equipment, supplies or personnel to the government.
- Kickback and bribes to secure or retain procurement work.
- Failure to provide “best price” to the government.
Hagens Berman represents whistleblowers under the False Claims Act with information on procurement fraud and has litigated against some of the largest suppliers to the government.