U.S. Department of Justice takes aim at criminal antitrust violations in public procurement

Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division (division) forms a Procurement Collusion Strike Force

The division is poised to launch a new strike force aimed at criminal antitrust violations in the public procurement arena. A notice published last week in the Federal Register identifies a proposed "Procurement Collusion Strike Force complaint form" designed to "facilitate reporting by the public of complaints, concerns, and tips regarding potential antitrust crimes affecting government procurement, grants, and program funding." DOJ's use of task forces has been successful in the past. For example, in October 2006 DOJ formed a similar National Procurement Fraud Task Force, which successfully targeted U.S. military procurement fraud related to conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In less than three years, the efforts of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force led to more than 35 criminal convictions. As with the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, the newly developed "Strike Force" is expected to consist of a range of federal agencies and focus on high-dollar government programs.

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