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The FCA at the Supreme Court, Part 2 of 4: Addressing the Standard for Knowingly Submitting a False Claim, 03.07.23, Matt Feinberg and Annie Hudgins
The False Claims Act (FCA) is seeing quite a bit of action at the Supreme Court this term, with multiple cases under consideration. This is the second installment in PilieroMazza’s blog series on “The FCA at the Supreme Court,” where we will examine active cases, comment on decisions once they are issued, and discuss ways defendants can protect themselves in FCA litigation. Read more here.
8 Key Takeaways from DOJ’s Annual Report on Fraud and the False Claims Act, 03.03.23, Matt Feinberg and Annie Hudgins
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . .” Charles Dickens’ famous line from A Tale of Two Cities may have been echoing in the ears of Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys a bit over the last month. On February 7, 2023, DOJ issued its annual report on fraud and False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries for fiscal year 2022. After the agency recovered over $5.6 Billion in fiscal year 2021, the annual report disclosed what the government might consider a disappointing $2.2 Billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and the FCA in fiscal year 2022. The $2.2 Billion is the lowest amount recovered since FY 2008 and represented an almost-60% drop over the course of a single year. The low dollar figure does not tell the whole story of 2022, however. 2022 was an interesting year for the False Claims Act, and government contractors should note a few key takeaways from DOJ’s annual report to understand key trends for the future of the FCA. Read more here.
Sherwin-Williams to Pay $1 Million to Resolve Alleged False Claims Act Violations Arising from Bridge Painting Project
United States Attorney Jacqueline Romero announced that The Sherwin-Williams Company has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that it participated in a scheme to defraud the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program in connection with a contract to paint the George C. Platt Memorial Bridge in Philadelphia. Read more here.
President Biden Issues a Sweeping Anti-COVID Fraud Proposal
President Biden unveiled a sweeping legislative proposal to crack down on COVID-19 fraud and help those affected by identity theft. The plan has three parts: ensure that oversight and law enforcement agencies have the time and resources to go after fraudsters; invest in fraud and identity theft prevention; and help victims of identity theft. Read more here.
New National Cyber Strategy Asks ‘More’ from Industry and Government
The federal government aims to fortify the country’s cybersecurity posture across critical infrastructures, outlining its chief policy objectives in the Biden Administration’s first National Cybersecurity Strategy, which is expected to be released Thursday. Previewed in a press call Wednesday, senior administration officials discussed the White House’s goals to protect U.S digital networks from malicious cyberattacks and ransomware. A major feature of the strategy is raising the minimum requirements for all critical sectors to reduce security risks and harmonize compliance. Read more here.
General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Updating Payments Clause
Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA) is proposing to amend the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to remove clause 552.232-1 Payments. This clause requires the Government to pay a contractor without submission of an invoice or voucher for non-commercial fixed price contracts for supplies or services. Written comments are due on, or before, May 1, 2023. Read more here.
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS): Prompt Payment of Contractors (DFARS Case 2021-D008)
Department of Defense (DoD) is issuing a final rule amending the DFARS to implement section 815 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 (Pub. L. 116-283), which strengthened the requirement that DoD establish a goal to pay small business contractors within 15 days of receipt of an invoice. This final rule is effective March 16, 2023. Read more here.
DFARS: Quick-Closeout Procedures Threshold (DFARS Case 2021-D001)
DoD is issuing a final rule amending the DFARS to implement a recommendation from the Government Accountability Office regarding quick-closeout procedures. This final rule is effective March 1, 2023. Read more here.
Upcoming Government Contracting Presentations
Rescission of Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption Rule
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Labor (OFCCP) has issued a final rule rescinding the final rule titled “Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption,” which took effect on January 8, 2021. This rescission removes the regulations established by that rule. This final rule is effective March 31, 2023. Read more here.
Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations