It is an ultimate ethical dilemma: to blow the whistle or to stay quiet? Recent statistics show that the number of government whistleblowing claims is increasing, and with media attention focused on high profile whistleblowing cases, it is more important now than ever to ensure that your company is compliant and maintains ethical business practices.
Recent qui tam complaints filed under the False Claims Act include one against the shredding industry giants Iron Mountain, Shred-It, and Cintas for breaking the terms of their contract by failing to shred confidential documents within the specifications of the contract. Together, Iron Mountain and Shred-It settled the lawsuit with a payment of $1.1 million, Cintas still contests the allegations. This settlement is very small compared to the settlement of the 2012 qui tam case against pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline which settled for a record-breaking $3 billion.
How can you protect your company from a lawsuit that could damage your reputation and have serious financial ramifications? Stay compliant to your government contract and practice ethical business processes. One of the first steps in doing this is reviewing the specifications of the contract with a professional. This includes pricing, quality guidelines, and sales reporting. With whistleblowing on the rise, an increasing number of companies are hiring outside parties, such as consultants, to conduct audits that help to safeguard their company. An experienced GSA consultant will proactively conduct an audit that helps to improve compliance and determine any potential areas of concern before a major lawsuit occurs.
About Carina Linder
Carina Linder is an Engagement Manager with more than five years of experience in GSA contract proposal writing and contract negotiations. Her expertise is in contract compliance consulting, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and procurement procedures.
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1110 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 930
Washington, DC 20005