Rewards For Reporting Fraud in Public Procurement or Tenders
You can obtain a multi-million dollar whistleblower award for reporting fraud in public tenders or public procurement contracts. To find out if you can get a whistleblower award, take our reward evaluation now:
WHAT IS PUBLIC PROCUREMENT FRAUD?
Companies competing for public tenders or public procurement contracts often try to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors by:
- Paying bribes
- Promising things of value to the officials involved
- Using corrupt means to influence the tender specifications
- Using corrupt means to get information on their competitors’ bids
If the company involved in this conduct has operations in the United States, it is possible that the company has breached the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which is a U.S. law that prohibits corrupt practices outside the U.S.. The SEC issues million-dollar awards to people who report FCPA violations.
If you are thinking about reporting a public procurement violation, here are 5 important steps to take:
1. Speak To An Experienced Attorney
If you are thinking of reporting public procurement fraud, it is critical that you speak with an experienced attorney. If you report public procurement fraud to your employer or someone else before speaking with an attorney, you may face retaliation or lose out on the possibility of claiming a whistleblower award. This can happen even if your employer offers ‘confidential’ reporting or a ‘whistleblower hotline.’ FTI Law has experienced public procurement fraud attorneys and offers free consultations that are completely confidential. Speaking to an attorney will cost you nothing, assist you report the public procurement fraud and often, the attorney may be able to report the public procurement fraud on your behalf.
2. Get Familiar With The Elements Of A Public Procurement Fraud
Whether you are reporting the violation yourself or using an attorney, the DOJ and SEC will expect you to have some basic knowledge about the public procurement fraud. This means you should get familiar with the elements of an FCPA violation before you report. This is something you can discuss with your attorney, or check our article on how to recognize an FCPA violation. The key elements will be describing the government official involved, the item of value that was given or promised to them, and the motivation for the actions.
3. Gather Evidence To Support Your Claim
In addition to reporting what you have witnessed, you can also supply documents, emails or other evidence to support claim. This will help convince the DOJ and SEC to investigate the FCPA violation. However, it is also important that you do not obtain evidence illegally, such as by accessing other people’s property or devices without their permission. When figuring out what evidence to gather, your attorney will be able to advise what it is safe to collect and what it is not. Even if your employer has made you sign an Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), you are always entitled to speak to your attorney about these issues without breaching the NDA.
4. Decide Where To Report First
When reporting a public procurement violation, you may be entitled to a whistleblower award for reporting and potentially protection from retaliation. However, much of this could depend on who you report to first. For example, certain U.S. laws provide protections for individuals who report FCPA violations to federal regulators like the SEC and DOJ. However, those protections do not apply if the person only reports to their employer. Similarly, if you report an FCPA violation to the SEC, you could be entitled to an SEC whistleblower reward, but reporting only to the DOJ may affect your ability to claim an award. In 2021, the SEC paid a whistleblower $28 million for reporting FCPA violations.
5. Don’t Delay In Reporting
Both the SEC and DOJ have specific time limits in which they can prosecute FCPA violations. For certain violations, this could be as short as 5 years, and an investigation could take 2-3 years. If you want the SEC and DOJ to investigate the violation, you need to give them as much time as possible by reporting early. If you want to claim a whistleblower award this is especially important, as if someone reports the same information you have before you, they will get the whistleblower award. Even if you are the only person with the information, the SEC can reduce a person’s award if they delayed in reporting.
Claim A Whistleblower Award
If you have information on public procurement fraud contact us immediately to find out if you can claim a whistleblower award.