The General Services Administration, or GSA, oversees many of the government's procurement contracts. Due to the large number of procurements it handles, there is a significant possibility of corruption and fraud. There have been multiple cases in which multi-million dollar settlements were reached after the whistle was blown on fraud against the GSA, including an almost $200 million settlement by Oracle for failing to disclose "best price" to the government.
If you spot GSA fraud happening at your company, it's often worth it to contact a whistleblower attorney. Under the False Claims Act, you're protected against retaliation from employers, and you could be entitled to up to 30% of any recovery by the government.
Here are some of the most common types of procurement fraud against the GSA, and how you can spot it:
- Bid Collusion/Rigging: Tampering with bids, whether by colluding with other contractors to artificially drive up the price or setting a predetermined bid price so that a favored contractor is sure to get the job, is considered fraud.
How to Spot It: This widespread fraud type can be spotted when bids are higher than the norm, bids are too close or too far apart in price, bids are suspiciously similar to each other, or losing bidders end up getting the job anyway. If you notice that something seems off about the bids for a job, investigate further.
- Bribes and Kickbacks: This type of fraud is a hallmark of corruption, and if left unchecked can lead to unfair advantages, lack of healthy competition, unqualified contractors, and more.
How to Spot It: If you see unjustified favoritism, non-competitive selection, acceptance of goods that would otherwise be deemed too low-quality, or a procurement official that is suddenly displaying signs of unusual wealth, these can all be signs of bribery.
- Failure to Give Government "Best Price": Contractors are required by law to give the government the best price available for goods and services, and to disclose any discounts that their regular customers get. Plus, if the price drops, a contractor is required to give the government the new, lower price.
How to Spot It: If you see a discrepancy between the price that your company's normal, favored customers get and the price that is given to the government, that could be a sign of fraud.
Don't hesitate to contact our whistleblower attorneys if you come across GSA procurement fraud. You can help expose corruption and potentially be rewarded for your efforts. Call Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein today at 757-223-4536 for your confidential and free consultation. We serve clients in Newport News, Virginia, and all across the United States.