A study done by the National Contract Management Association revealed that in 2014, at close to three billion dollars, the Department of Defense accounted for two-thirds of the nation’s corporate contract spending. This vast amount of money, however, provides ample incentive for dishonest contractors to bilk the government and taxpayers, and potentially put the lives of U.S. military members at risk. One defense against these unscrupulous fraudsters is the False Claims Act.
During the Civil War, dishonest contractors sold the Union Army decrepit horses, faulty weapons, and rancid food. In response, Congress passed the False Claims Act on March 2, 1863. Abraham Lincoln was President when the False Claims Act was passed and it is sometimes referred to as the “Lincoln Law.”
The False Claims Act permits private individuals to bring lawsuits on behalf of the government for the fraudulent conduct. The qui tam provision of the False Claims Act provides that the whistleblower who brings the action may share in any recovery by the government.