HP to pay $32.5 million for overbilling Postal Service

Hewlett-Packard will pay a $32.5 million settlement for allegedly overcharging the U.S. Postal Service for nearly a decade, the Justice Department announced on Friday.

According to the department’s allegations, the company violated its contract with the Postal Service from 2001 to 2010 by charging higher prices other customers paid and misrepresenting itself when the contract was originally negotiated. Those are violations of the False Claims Act, the government asserted.

 “Protecting the federal procurement process from false claims is central to the mission of the Department of Justice,” the department’s assistant attorney general for the civil division, Stuart Delery, said in a statement. “We will continue to ensure that when the government purchases commercial products, it receives the prices to which it is entitled.”

Despite the costly payout, the settlement did not require the Palo Alto, Calif., company to admit wrongdoing.  

In a statement sent to The Hill, an HP spokeswoman said that the computer manufacturer "is happy to find a mutually acceptable resolution to this matter.

“HP values its ongoing relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, and looks forward to continuing to deliver high-quality products and solutions to its valued customer,” the spokeswoman added.