One of the largest federal consulting practices agreed to settle a False Claims Act brought by the General Services Administration for allegations the vendor failed to lower prices on its IT services contracts despite changes in the commercial marketplace.

Deloitte Consulting LLP — which holds several contracts on GSA schedules, including IT Schedule 70 — was accused of failing to abide by a price reduction clause in its contract that requires vendors to keep the prices they charge federal customers commensurate with pricing for commercial customers, according to the Department of Justice.

According to the complaint, between 2006 and 2012, Deloitte overcharged federal customers while offering the same IT services to specific commercial customers at lower rates.

Deloitte agreed to pay $11.4 million to settle the claim. DOJ attorneys note that, with the settlement, there will be no determination of liability or guilt.

"Contractors are expected to deal fairly with federal agencies when receiving taxpayer funds," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Mizer, head of DOJ's Civil Division. "As this settlement demonstrates, we will take action against those who knowingly fail to live up to the terms of their government contracts."

Deloitte also holds a number of contracts on other GSA schedules, including marketing, finance and human resources.

"We are pleased to have resolved this matter," Megan Doern, Deloitte federal media relations manager, told Federal Times. "As an organization deeply committed to our U.S. government clients, we have implemented additional GSA schedule processes to protect their interests."

Aaron Boyd is an awarding-winning journalist currently serving as editor of Federal Times — a Washington, D.C. institution covering federal workforce and contracting for more than 50 years — and Fifth Domain — a news and information hub focused on cybersecurity and cyberwar from a civilian, military and international perspective.

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