The U.S. government is our nation’s largest consumer. Every year, our government purchases billions of dollars’ worth of goods and services from thousands of government contractors and subcontractors. When contractors overcharge or provide low-quality goods, it is the taxpayers who pay the price.
What is a Federal Government Contractor or Subcontractor?
A government contractor is any privately owned business that provides a product or service for a government agency. A subcontractor is a company that does business with a federal contractor.
Government contractors and subcontractors are expected to make a reasonable profit on government contracts, but they are also expected to fulfill their obligations according to the terms of their contracts. They must provide accurate cost estimates and cannot inflate revenues through overbilling or improper substitution of goods. Contractors and subcontractors must comply with a variety of federal laws, including affirmative action, equal opportunity and anti-discrimination laws. All contractors must also comply with the Truth in Negotiations Act.
What is the Truth In Negotiations Act?
The Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) is a federal law designed to protect the government from being overcharged for products and services. TINA requires government contractors to provide accurate, current and complete information about the costs involved in providing goods or services to the federal government. It is illegal for a contractor to overestimate costs in order to maximize profits; providing low estimates in order to gain a contract is also against the law
Violation of TINA is considered one type of government contractor fraud.
Examples of Government Contractor Fraud
- Charging for goods and services that were not provided
- Misrepresenting of overhead costs, material costs, or labor costs
- Charging higher rates for parts or labor than agreed to in the contract
- Providing goods or services that do not meet the terms of the contract
- Delivering goods of lower quality than expected
- Using substandard parts in order to meet financial goals
- Failing to meet contract performance requirements
- Falsely claiming that products were made in America
- Billing for labor, materials, or equipment that were not used for the government contract
- Billing for costs not covered by government programs, including marketing, sales, and lobbying costs
- Misrepresenting a company as a minority-owned business in order to obtain a government contract
- Conspiring with other bidders or contractors to inflate prices
- Providing false certifications of compliance with statutory or regulatory laws in order to obtain a government contract
- Failing to comply with federal laws and statutes, including equal employment opportunity law and regulations, affirmative action laws, anti-discrimination laws, federal wage and hour laws and regulations, and competitive bidding laws
Whistleblowers Make a Difference
If you suspect your employer of government contract fraud, it is important that you contact an attorney immediately. Our attorneys will review your case and help you determine if you have a whistleblower claim. We can help you to report government fraud, waste, and abuse and interact with the Department of Justice on your behalf. We can also help you maintain confidentiality, protect you from retaliation, and determine if you are eligible for a whistleblower reward. To get started, call 800-432-9461 and ask to schedule a free consultation.