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Truth or Consequences: Expanding Civil and Criminal Liability for the Defective Pricing of Government Contracts

NCJ Number
116300
Journal
Catholic University Law Review Volume: 37 Issue: 4 Dated: (Summer 1988) Pages: 935-991
Author(s)
W B Shirk; B D Greenberg; III Dawson W S
Date Published
1988
Length
57 pages
Annotation
This paper examines the government contractor's potential liability for defective pricing in view of recent developments in Federal law.
Abstract
The recently amended Truth in Negotiations Act is examined, with emphasis on the submission requirements for cost or pricing data, the elements constituting a prima facie violation of the Act, and government recovery under the Act. A discussion of the newly amended civil false claims statute focuses on the significant changes that expand contractor liability and the government's recovery for a violation of the statute. The newly enacted program fraud civil remedies statute is also discussed. Further sections review the elements of a prima facie violation of the criminal false statements and false claims statutes, emphasizing the elimination of the requirement to prove specific intent to defraud the government and the significantly increased penalties upon conviction. They also discuss the impact of the recent 'collective knowledge' doctrine on corporate liability for criminal false claims and false statements. Hypothetical examples are used to analyze the contractor's expanded liability for defective pricing and fraud, with emphasis on the resulting blurring of the distinction between defective pricing and fraud. The analysis concludes that these legal developments have expanded the potential civil and criminal liability of contractors. 391 footnotes and appended list of statutes.

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