Energy Loan Bidding Wars
By Megan Porter, Marketing –
Many United States government contracts are purchased through live auction. This encourages the free economy system and helps the government get a fair market value for the contract or loan. However, this also means that bidders can agree before the auction on a certain value and lower the ultimate cost of the contract, thereby robbing the government of a portion of the proceeds. This loophole led to the establishment of the False Claims Act, a series of rules and regulations that helps keep all companies who wish to do business with the US government on an even footing and ensures that the government won’t be cheated on the value of its contracts.
Recently, though, an allegation was brought up in the federal court of the District of Colombia against Hybrid Tech Holdings LLC, Hybrid Technology LLC, and Ace Strength International LTD for violation of the False Claims Act. The allegation held that the aforementioned companies had agreed with competitors to lower bids in an auction for a Department of Energy loan. The investigation, led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colombia and the Department of Justice’s Commercial Litigation Branch, resulted in the accused companies agreeing to pay a settlement of $29 million dollars to the U.S. government. A portion of the settlement will also go to William R. Baldiga and the FAH Liquidating Trust, who were responsible for filing the original lawsuit.
With the large quantity of resources that national governments juggle, it is vital to ensure that those resources be used in accordance with solid business practices and existing regulations. However, those same large quantities of money invite the worst of society to take advantage of transactions for personal gain. These illicit transactions misuse millions of taxpayer dollars and harm the national economy. However, when all transactions are based on words alone, it is next to impossible to discern who is trustworthy and who is just in the game for his or her own benefit.
Converus’s innovative lie detection system, EyeDetect®, could prove to be a solution to government fraud and deception. By using eye movement and pupil dilation, EyeDetect can detect deception within 30 minutes with 86% accuracy. In the case of the government contract bidding wars, the case could have been decided by simply using EyeDetect to verify if illegal agreements had been made before the auction, saving time and money. If one’s word is not enough, trust their eyes, for the eyes don’t lie.
Photo by / Nikolay Frolochkin