This month, and with great fanfare, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its creation of a Procurement Collusion Strike Force. We know what you’re thinking, and no – this Strike Force will not be starring in the next Avengers movie. Rather, DOJ created the Strike Force to combat antitrust crimes in Federal procurement.
The concept of a Strike Force is not novel. In October 2006, DOJ announced the formation of a then-new National Procurement Fraud Task Force within its Criminal Division, an effort that claimed credit for a large number of investigations and prosecutions in the ensuing years. The Central District of California established its own Procurement Fraud Task Force in 1991, focusing on alleged fraud in the defense industry. And there have been others. The idea behind all of them is to marshal federal enforcement resources from various agencies to focus on a single problem. In this case, the perceived problem is collusion among government contractors in violation of U.S. antitrust and procurement laws.
This article sets out our thoughts on the sort of contractor activities that could create a perception of collusion, and offers a few concrete actions you can take to make yourself less of a target for the new Strike Force (and the opportunistic plaintiffs’ lawyers that will follow closely behind). Continue Reading