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ERC President Testifies for False Claims Act

In front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, Ethics Resource Center’s (“ERC”; “the Center”) Patricia Harned shared her thoughts on potential amendments to the False Claims Act. During testimony , the Center’s president told Congress that certification of private sector ethics and compliance programs are beneficial in protecting taxpayers from fraud by government contractors. She further stressed that the programs should give equal focus to both ethics and compliance, which lessens the need for enforcement caused by False Claims Act violations. Referencing the ERC’s research, Harned also noted that companies with strong ethics and compliance programs take. Read More.

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Changes to ALL Compensation for Government Contractors

As part of the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act, Congress reduced the contractor and subcontractor compensation cap from $952,308 to $487,000, a 49 percent reduction. The cap will be adjusted annually to reflect the change in the Employment Cost Index for all workers as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As always, contractors can pay whatever amounts they deem appropriate, but the government will only reimburse (at the most) to the cap. Previously, Congress, in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, applied the ceiling on reimbursable pay to all Department of Defense (“DoD”), Coast Guard, and National Aeronautics and Space. Read More.

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House Republicans Lead Contempt Charge Against Lerner

With a 231-187 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives held former Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress. Backed mostly by Republican officials, the contempt charge was due to Lerner exercising the Fifth Amendment to prevent self-incrimination during the investigation over the IRS’ targeting of conservative-based groups. Republicans, however, believe Lerner waived her right once she claimed innocence while appearing in front of the House Oversight Committee last year. Before the vote took place, Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL) stated, “Mrs. Lerner made 17 separate factual assertions before invoking her right to remain silent. You can’t make. Read More.

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