CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

“Double Down” on False Claims Act Penalties

Attention all contractors! Effective August 1, 2016, the U.S. government adjusted the penalty amounts applicable to civil penalties to include the penalty assessed under the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3729(a)). The new penalty has increased from $11,000 to a maximum penalty of $21,563. Additionally, the penalty is assessed on top of “3 times the amount of damages which the Government sustains because of the act of that person,” unless reduced in court. This increase in penalties is actually a “catch up” by the government. The government has taken the position that to ensure an effective deterrent is maintained, and. Read More.

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Rule Updated on Whistleblower-Related Legal Costs

In June 2013, Cherry Bekaert notified you of coming changes to whistleblower protection laws for government contractors. Subcontractors were being given protection under whistleblower laws, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) was amended at that time to generally not allow legal fees or other expenses related to whistleblower protection claims. This past July, multiple government agencies, the Department of Defense (“DoD”), General Services Administration (“GSA”), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (“NASA”), finalized a rule to update FAR cost principle 31.205-47, related to the allowability of legal costs. The change implements a section of the National Defense Authorization Act 2013. Read More.

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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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