Justice Dept forms group to combat contracting fraud

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is forming a special group of prosecutors and watchdogs from several agencies to fight bid-rigging, price fixing and other fraud that hurts competition in federal government contracting.

Justice officials say the new effort against collusion in government procurement aims to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in contracting.

They noted that last year the federal government spent more than $550 billion, or about 40% of all non-mandated spending, on contracts for goods and services.

The task force will include prosecutors from the department’s antitrust division and 13 U.S. Attorney’s offices around the country, FBI investigators and inspectors general from the departments of Justice and Defense, the U.S. Postal Service and the General Services Administration.

Taxpayers rightfully expect their tax dollars to be spent responsibly. And this administration will not tolerate criminal activity that seeks to profit unfairly at the expense of taxpayers. I’m therefore very pleased to be here today to support the establishment of our procurement collusion strike force. This strike force will target bid rigging and other antitrust crimes that can cost American taxpayers billions of dollars each year by undermining the federal government’s processes for purchasing goods and services and for money granted to states and municipalities to undertake large high dollar figure public improvement projects.”

Jeffrey Rosen, Deputy Attorney General

             
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