SAIC, Other Contractors Allegedly Conspired on $3.2 Billion Deal

Two government employees allegedly shared restricted procurement information with SAIC and others on a $3.2 billion NASA contract, giving the contractors an unfair advantage, the Justice Department said.

SAIC said the allegations do not have merit.

The allegations are part of a whistleblower lawsuit that the Justice Department just said it would join.

"The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, alleges that the defendants knowingly violated the False Claims Act when they submitted (or caused to be submitted) false claims and conspired to submit false claims under a $3.2 billion contract with the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide support services to a branch of the NAVO MSRC. In April 2004, GSA awarded the contract to SAIC, which teamed with AES and Lockheed Martin Space Operations to perform the agreement."

"'Those who do business with the government must act fairly and in accordance with the law,' said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. 'As this case illustrates, the Department of Justice will actively pursue legal action against both contractors and federal employees who seek to gain an unfair advantage in the procurement process.'"

SAIC spokeswoman Melissa Koskovich shared this about the developments:

"SAIC has fully cooperated with the Government over the past three years as this matter was reviewed. We have thoroughly examined the Government's claims and found the allegations to be without merit. The Government has been reviewing this matter for three years and has failed to identify any information provided to SAIC that was not available to other bidders or that could have provided SAIC with an unfair competitive advantage in the procurement process. SAIC intends to pursue a vigorous defense against these allegations.

"SAIC is a highly ethical company committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations. We spend significant time and effort operating a comprehensive and rigorous ethics and compliance program that includes policies, procedures, mandatory training and audit tools. We are proud of our commitment and track record of ethical performance and legal compliance."

This one is interesting. More to come.

By Robert O'Harrow |  July 2, 2009; 3:33 PM ET Procurement Debate
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Your post's headline, as is sometimes the case, throws the reader off the scent, or odor in this case. SAIC is regularly sued by whistleblowers, often joined by DOJ, for alleged FCA violations. It usually settles, pays a few $mil, and admits no wrongdoing. By far the standout attribute of this complaint is the allegation that govt employees participated in wiring a contract for the company. Suggest a little reporting might be in order, for example, checking whether the FBI has launched a public corruption investigation of former and current govt employees. Worst nightmare for the citizens and taxpayers: corrupt officials working w crooked contractors. That's the government's allegation, and it may or may not be the case. That's the story to be validated or knocked down. Why not go do it, WaPo?

Posted by: axolotl | July 7, 2009 7:21 PM

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