October 30, 2020 Feature

The False Claims Act: Recent Developments in One of GovCon’s Oldest Laws

Alex Hontos and Eric Weisenburger

The adage that old dogs cannot learn new tricks may well be true—but the False Claims Act is an exception to that rule. One of the oldest government contracting laws, the FCA continues to evolve with today’s controversies and changes to the acquisition landscape. And despite a downturn in traditional white-collar enforcement generally, the FCA continues to be a boon for the federal government, allowing it to recover significant sums from government contractors. In 2019, the Justice Department (DOJ) collected $3 billion in settlements and judgments—a similar figure to recent years.1 As in most years, the majority of recoveries came from cases filed by private individuals, or “qui tam relators.”2 Over 85 percent of those qui tam recoveries came in cases in which the government intervened or otherwise took action.3 This article catalogues important recent FCA developments.

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