October 26, 2021

News

News Network

Justice Department’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force Announces Eleven New National Partners

7 min read
<div>The Justice Department announced today that the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) is adding 11 new national partners to the Strike Force, for a total of 29 agencies and offices committed on the national level to combatting collusion, antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes, which undermine competition in government procurement, grant and program funding.</div>

The Justice Department announced today that the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) is adding 11 new national partners to the Strike Force, for a total of 29 agencies and offices committed on the national level to combatting collusion, antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes, which undermine competition in government procurement, grant and program funding.

Of the new partners, nine are U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, with complementary enforcement priorities in U.S. cities with diverse government spending profiles:   

  • David L. Anderson, Northern District of California
  • Robert K. Hur, District of Maryland
  • Erica H. MacDonald, District of Minnesota
  • Michael Hurst, Jr., Southern District of Mississippi
  • Seth D. DuCharme, Eastern District of New York
  • Matthew G.T. Martin, Middle District of North Carolina
  • Stephen Muldrow, District of Puerto Rico
  • Stephen J. Cox, Eastern District of Texas
  • Ryan Patrick, Southern District of Texas

The PCSF is also welcoming as national partners the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations and Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, two critically important law enforcement partners with proven track records of working with the PCSF as well as the Antitrust Division.

“I am excited to welcome these new partners to the PCSF effort,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said announcing the new partners in Washington, D.C. “By growing our national footprint, and folding in additional subject-matter experts, the PCSF is poised for even more success in its next year.”

“DHS OIG is pleased to join our law enforcement partners on the PCSF,” said Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari of the Department of Homeland Security. “We look forward to working with the Strike Force to combat antitrust crimes and related schemes on behalf of American taxpayers.”

“OSI, led by our Office of Procurement Fraud Investigations team, is pleased to be a full national partner in the PCSF effort,” said Brigadier General Terry L. Bullard, Commander, Air Force OSI.  “We are committed to the principles of the PCSF in ensuring we educate and inform our stakeholders to deter bad actors, and in investigating crimes when they do occur.  We look forward to furthering this project together with the Department of Justice and sister agencies.”

In remarks delivered to the American Bar Association, Antitrust Section’s Fall Forum, Assistant Attorney General Delrahim also provided recap of the PCSF’s first year of accomplishments, which are detailed in a recent post to the department’s “Justice Blog.”

The PCSF has a publicly available website at www.Justice.gov/Procurement-Collusion-Strike-Force, where members of the public can review information about the federal antitrust laws and training programs, and report suspected criminal activity affecting public procurement. Individuals and companies are encouraged to contact the PCSF if they have information concerning anticompetitive conduct involving federal taxpayer dollars by emailing pcsf@usdoj.gov or filling out the PCSF anonymous complaint form, located on the PCSF website.

Federal, state, and local agencies can also contact the PCSF at pcsf@usdoj.gov for any training needs or to report suspected antitrust violations.

News Network

  • Remarks of Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt at the ACI 37th Annual Conference on the FCPA
    In Crime News
    Good morning and thank you for that kind introduction. It is an honor to be here with you today, even if only virtually. Just a year ago, addressing a conference of this size and importance via video would have seemed unthinkable. Today, it is — unfortunately — normal. I look forward to the time — hopefully, soon — when we can gather again in person. In the meantime, I am grateful for this opportunity to speak with you, and I look forward to my discussion with Kim after my remarks conclude.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio At a Joint Press Availability
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Chief Standing Bear: A Hero of Native American Civil Rights
    In U.S Courts
    A new Moments in History video, in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, recounts how Chief Standing Bear persuaded a federal judge in 1879 to recognize Native Americans as persons with the right to sue for their freedom, establishing him as one of the nation’s earliest civil rights heroes.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Key Outcomes at the 47th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Tennessee Department of Human Services Agrees to Pay $6.8 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Liability in Connection with SNAP Quality Control
    In Crime News
    The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has agreed to pay the United States $6,854,416 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in its administration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Until 2008, SNAP was known as the Food Stamp Program. 
    [Read More…]
  • Semiannual Report to Congress: October 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021
    In U.S GAO News
      This report was submitted to the Comptroller General in accordance with Section 5 of the Government Accountability Office Act of 2008. The report summarizes the activities of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the six-month reporting period ending March 31, 2021. During the reporting period, the OIG issued one audit report and began three performance audits. In addition, the OIG closed four investigations and two self-initiated inquiries, and opened seven new investigations. The OIG processed 46 hotline complaints, many of which were referred to other OIGs for action because the matters involved were within their jurisdictions. The OIG remained active in the GAO and OIG communities by briefing new GAO employees on its audit and investigative missions, and participating in committees and working groups of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, including those related to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Details of these activities and other accomplishments are provided in the report. For more information, contact Tonya R. Ford at (202) 512-5748 or oig@gao.gov.  
    [Read More…]
  • Global Food Security: Improved Monitoring Framework Needed to Assess and Report on Feed the Future’s Performance
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found Feed the Future (FTF), a U.S. government–wide global food security initiative coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), collects data to monitor how FTF projects promote agriculture, resilience, and nutrition (see photos). However, USAID and its FTF partner agencies are limited in their ability to use performance data to assess the initiative's progress because they have not set FTF-wide performance goals and few FTF indicators fully meet two key attributes of successful performance indicators. Specifically, only three of 40 performance indicators both (1) were clearly linked to the initiative's overarching goal and (2) had measurable targets. FTF has targets for its overarching goal of reducing poverty and child stunting; however, the FTF agencies cannot determine how the results of FTF's projects contribute to this overarching goal. USAID officials said it is difficult to set FTF-wide performance goals and targets because of the initiative's breadth. However, prior GAO work provides strategies to help the agencies conduct meaningful FTF-wide performance monitoring. Examples of Feed the Future's Agriculture, Resilience, and Nutrition Projects USAID'S 2017–2020 public reports on FTF include some information on FTF's projects, but contain unclear and unsupported statements on its progress. USAID followed two of four leading practices on performance reporting by including baseline or trend data and discussing data limitations in the FTF reports. However, the reports did not describe how the performance data align with and can be used to assess progress toward FTF's objectives—another leading practice. Further, the reports did not outline performance targets so readers could compare the performance data against these targets, also a leading practice. Lastly, although the reports stated that FTF has led to estimated decreases in poverty and stunting, FTF data do not support these statements on FTF's impact. As a result, FTF's public reports do not communicate a clear picture of the initiative's progress toward achieving its objectives. As required by law, USAID developed a process to assess countries' potential to graduate from being an FTF target country, but USAID has not fully followed this process. USAID developed annual scorecards to assess the countries; however, due to a bureau restructuring and the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID has not shared the 2019 or 2020 scorecards with its missions or the FTF partner agencies. USAID also has not worked with these entities to complete required annual reviews of the graduation assessment process itself. As a result, USAID has limited the partners' engagement in, and the usefulness of, this process. Why GAO Did This Study The United Nations reported that nearly 690 million people in the world were undernourished as of 2019, and estimated that food insecurity could worsen due to COVID-19. In response to the Global Food Security Act of 2016, FTF agencies monitor and report the progress of their global food security assistance and developed a process to graduate FTF target countries from the initiative. GAO was asked to review U.S. global food security assistance. This report evaluates, among other things, USAID's monitoring and public reporting of FTF's progress and assessment of countries' potential to graduate from FTF. GAO reviewed FTF documents and data, and interviewed representatives of USAID, FTF partner agencies, and other stakeholders, including implementing partners from four sample countries selected based on factors such as geographic diversity and amount of food security funding.
    [Read More…]
  • Government Efficiency and Effectiveness: Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Billions in Financial Benefits
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found GAO’s 2021 annual report identifies 112 new actions for Congress or executive branch agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government. For example: The Office of Management and Budget should improve how agencies buy common goods and services—such as medical supplies and computers—by addressing data management challenges and establishing performance metrics to help save the federal government billions of dollars over the next 5 years, as well as potentially eliminate duplicative contracts. The National Nuclear Security Administration could implement cost savings programs to operate more effectively at its nuclear laboratory and production sites to potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars over approximately a five year period. The Department of Health and Human Services could improve coordination of its infectious disease modeling efforts to better identify any duplication and overlap among agencies, which could help them to better plan for and more efficiently respond to disease outbreaks. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could enhance third-party information reporting to increase compliance with tax laws and raise revenue. GAO has also previously suggested (1) providing IRS with authority to correct certain errors—with appropriate safeguards—in tax returns and (2) establishing requirements for paid tax return preparers to help improve the accuracy of tax returns. From 2011 to 2021, GAO has identified more than 1,100 actions to reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve agencies' operating effectiveness. GAO’s last report in May 2020 said progress made in addressing many of the actions identified from 2011 to 2019 had resulted in approximately $429 billion in financial benefits, including $393 billion that accrued through 2019 and $36 billion that was projected to accrue in future years. Since May 2020, at least tens of billions of dollars in additional financial benefits have been achieved. GAO estimates that tens of billions of additional dollars could be saved should Congress and executive branch agencies fully address open actions, including those that have potential financial benefits of $1 billion or more. Why GAO Did This Study The federal government has made an unprecedented financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the pandemic recedes and the economy substantially recovers, Congress and the administration will need to develop and swiftly implement an approach to place the government on a sustainable long-term fiscal path. In the short term, opportunities exist for achieving billions of dollars in financial savings and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a wide range of federal programs in other areas. GAO has responded with annual reports to a statutory provision for it to identify and report on federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives—either within departments or government-wide—that have duplicative goals or activities. GAO also identifies areas that are fragmented or overlapping, as well as additional opportunities to achieve cost savings or enhance revenue collection. This statement discusses: the new areas identified in GAO’s 2021 annual report; and examples of open actions recommended to Congress or executive branch agencies with potential financial benefits of $1 billion or more. To identify what actions exist to address these issues, GAO reviewed and updated select prior work, including matters for congressional consideration and recommendations for executive action. For more information, contact Jessica Lucas-Judy at (202) 512-6806 or lucasjudyj@gao.gov or Michelle Sager at (202) 512-6806 or sagerm@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Settles with New Jersey-Based Staffing Company to Resolve Immigration-Related Discrimination Claims
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement with Collabera, Inc., a Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based information technology (IT) staffing agency.  The settlement resolves the department’s claims that Collabera violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department to Provide Funding for Body-Worn Cameras to Small, Rural and Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is releasing $7.65 million in a competitive microgrant grant solicitation that will fund body-worn cameras (BWCs) to any law enforcement department with 50 or fewer full-time sworn personnel, rural agencies (those agencies within non-urban or non-metro counties); and federally-recognized Tribal agencies.
    [Read More…]
  • Israel, The West Bank and Gaza Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Utah Man Posing As Medical Doctor To Sell Baseless Coronavirus Cure Indicted On Fraud Charges
    In Crime News
    Utah resident Gordon H. Pedersen has been indicted for posing as a medical doctor to sell a baseless treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City late last week, Pedersen fraudulently promoted and sold ingestible silver-based products as a cure for COVID-19 despite having no evidence that his products could treat or cure the disease. Pedersen is also alleged to have claimed to be a physician and worn a stethoscope and white lab coat in videos and photos posted on the Internet to further his alleged fraud scheme.
    [Read More…]
  • The Department of Justice Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Owner of Rental Properties in Elizabeth, New Jersey
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a lawsuit alleging that the owner of rental properties in Elizabeth, New Jersey violated the Fair Housing Act by subjecting tenants to sexual harassment. 
    [Read More…]
  • Warfighter Support: DOD Has Made Progress, but Supply and Distribution Challenges Remain in Afghanistan
    In U.S GAO News
    In fiscal year 2010, the Department of Defense (DOD) spent billions of dollars to move troops and materiel into Afghanistan, a mountainous, land-locked country with poorly developed infrastructure. The increase of 30,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan as of August 2010, along with thousands of civilians and contractors supporting U.S. efforts, have required further development of DOD's already-complex distribution network to support and sustain U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. GAO conducted this review to assess distribution issues in Afghanistan, including (1) DOD's oversight of distribution operations; (2) DOD's performance in providing supplies and equipment; and (3) challenges that have affected DOD's ability to provide supplies and equipment. GAO reviewed joint doctrine and DOD policies on distribution, analyzed DOD delivery data, and interviewed DOD officials in the United States and in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain.Although U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) has established some processes for oversight, it does not have full oversight of the distribution of supplies and equipment to the warfighter in Afghanistan. DOD's distribution pipeline includes four legs--intracontinental, intertheater, intratheater, and point of employment--and involves numerous organizations responsible for various aspects of the distribution process for delivering supplies and equipment to Afghanistan. TRANSCOM, as DOD's Distribution Process Owner, is responsible for overseeing the overall effectiveness, efficiency, and alignment of DOD-wide distribution activities. However, as applied and interpreted by DOD, TRANSCOM's oversight role does not extend all the way to final delivery to warfighters at forward-based combat outposts. Instead, its oversight efforts terminate at major logistics bases in Afghanistan. The oversight from these bases to combat outposts is carried out at varying levels and without uniformity by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and its component services. As a result of this fragmented structure, TRANSCOM does not have the ability to conduct its oversight role all the way to final delivery to the warfighter, nor does it have the visibility over distribution performance from major bases to outposts necessary to fully oversee the effectiveness of the DOD-wide distribution system and coordinate potentially necessary improvements to the system. DOD has not always met delivery standards and timelines for shipments to major logistics bases in Afghanistan, and it cannot conduct a full assessment of its delivery performance for surface shipments due to incomplete data. DOD has more frequently met delivery standards for shipments transported by airlift than for shipments transported on surface routes, due in large part to the various difficulties in transporting cargo on surface routes through neighboring countries and inside Afghanistan. For example, from December 2009 through March 2011, surface shipments of requisitioned supplies did not once meet the time-definite delivery standard that calls for 85 percent of shipments to arrive within 97 days of being ordered. In contrast, commercial air shipments from the United States met DOD's delivery standard six times over that time frame. DOD has taken some steps to mitigate challenges in distributing materiel to forces operating in Afghanistan, but GAO identified several challenges that continue to hinder the Department's distribution efforts: (1) DOD does not have adequate radio-frequency identification information to track all cargo movements into and within Afghanistan. (2) DOD does not have a common operating picture for distribution data and integrated transportation systems in support of Afghanistan operations. (3) Complex customs clearance processes in Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to delay shipments of supplies and equipment. (4) DOD continues to face difficulties in collecting information on all incidents of pilferage and damage of cargo. (5) DOD is not effectively tracking and managing cargo containers for Afghanistan operations. Collectively, these issues will likely continue to affect supply operations in Afghanistan and limit DOD's oversight of the supply chain. As a result, DOD's ability to identify and address gaps in distribution to support current deployments and redeployments, sustainment of deployed units, and any future drawdown efforts may be limited. GAO makes 15 recommendations for DOD to clarify its distribution policy, improve documentation of performance, and address several other challenges. DOD concurred or partially concurred with 11 of GAO's recommendations, but did not concur with four recommendations.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks to Mission Mexico Staff
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Doctor Pleads Guilty to Not Paying Employment Taxes
    In Crime News
    A doctor, formerly of Great Falls, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to willful failure to pay employment taxes, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia.
    [Read More…]
  • Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivers Remarks at Georgetown Law’s Global Antitrust Enforcement Symposium
    In Crime News
    “Reflections”: Looking [Read More…]
  • Court Orders Toledo Pharmacy and Two Pharmacists to Stop Dispensing Dangerous Doses and Combinations of Opioids and Other Controlled Substances
    In Crime News
    A federal court in Ohio ordered a Toledo pharmacy and two of its pharmacists to pay a $375,000 civil penalty and imposed restrictions related to the dispensing of opioids and other controlled substances.
    [Read More…]
Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.