Feds hit software firm for false claims

The Justice Department intervened in a whistleblowing lawsuit against software firm Symantec on Tuesday, alleging that the company submitted false claims on a government software contract.

According to the department, the company gave “inaccurate and incomplete information” about its prices to the General Services Administration in 2007, when it was granted a contract to sell software and other goods to government offices.

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That led government buyers to get a worse deal and slimmer discounts than many commercial customers on hundreds of millions of dollars of sales from 2007 to 2012, the Justice Department claimed.

“When doing business with the government, honesty and transparency are essential,” U.S. attorney Ronald Machen said in a statement announcing the action. “We are committed to ensuring that contractors who do business with the federal government provide honest services, prices and products.”

“American taxpayers deserve a fair deal,” added Robert Erickson, the acting inspector general at the General Services Administration.

The California-based company is denying the charges and claiming that the government paid fair prices throughout the course of the contract.

“At Symantec we take compliance rules seriously and believe we followed all GSA Schedule and state contract program rules,” a spokesperson said in a statement shared with The Hill. “We deny any wrongdoing and are confident the prices paid by the government for Symantec products and services were fair and reasonable.”

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