The government contracting world is deeply vulnerable to fraud, says a former federal investigator.
News that a former FEMA administrator was arrested recently for taking bribes from a contractor — one who landed $1.8 billion in federal contracts to repair Puerto Rico’s electrical grid after Hurricane Maria — was hardly surprising to those of us who work in fraud risk management.
Why? Because, unfortunately, the government contracting world is deeply vulnerable to fraud. Given the huge amounts of money at stake and the power that federal officials have in deciding winners and losers among contractors, this dynamic can lead to a “pay to play” scenario among the less ethical on both sides of the contracting relationship.
The volume and similarity of government corruption cases are striking. In the most recent FEMA case, the contractor provided the government official with helicopter rides, hotel accommodations, first-class airfare, and the use of a credit card in exchange for choosing his company to repair Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. Last year, charges were brought against the defense contractors who allegedly provided Navy officials with gifts and luxury items that included cash, checks, retail gift cards and flat-screen televisions in return for $6 million in government contracts.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.govexec.com/management/2019/09/insidious-threat-pay-play/159935/