Whistleblower Data Under Seal
One of the federal government's data mining contractors has gotten sideways with the Justice Department in a way that companies fear and loathe -- allegations by a whistleblower.
In a quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said "the United States Department of Justice is conducting an investigation regarding the propriety of the Company's Teradata Data Warehousing business' arrangements or understandings with others in connection with certain federal contracts."
At the core of the case is an allegation made under the federal False Claims Act. In the SEC statement, the company said it had "shared evidence of questionable conduct that the Company has uncovered with the Justice Department and intends to continue to cooperate with the Justice Department in its investigation." Company officials won't comment, saying the case is under seal, according to an NCR spokesman
"The Company's internal investigation is also focusing on the adequacy of pricing disclosures to the government under certain of the Company's federal contracts," the NCR statement said.
The False Claims Act is one of the most prominent avenues for the government's pursuit of contracting fraud and abuse. Regular citizens -- oftentimes former employees -- of companies found to have defrauded the government can get up to 25 percent of the settlement.
Exploring how the False Claims Act system works -- not to mention the cases that result -- will be a worthy line of inquiry for Government Inc. (All calls and notes about pending cases welcome.)
Last year, Oracle settled the largest fraud case involving a schedule contract at the General Services Administration, agreeing to pay the Justice Department a $98.5 million fine following False Claim Act allegations that a company it acquired had inflated prices for software it sold to the government.
Teradata also has a GSA schedule contract.
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