According to a Department of Justice Press Release, Oracle Corp. and Oracle America Inc. have agreed to pay $199.5 million plus interest for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the General Services Administration (GSA).
This settlement relates to a contract Oracle entered into in 1998 to sell software licenses and technical support to government entities through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program. The MAS program provides the government and other GSA-authorized purchasers with a streamlined process for procurement of commonly used commercial goods and services. To be awarded a MAS contract, contractors must agree to disclose commercial pricing policies and practices, and to abide by the contract terms. The settlement resolves allegations that, in contract negotiations and over the course of the contract’s administration, Oracle knowingly failed to meet its contractual obligations to provide GSA with current, accurate and complete information about its commercial sales practices, including discounts offered to other customers, and that Oracle knowingly made false statements to GSA about its sales practices and discounts.
Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice sates:
“Companies that engage in unlawful or fraudulent practices to secure government business undermine the integrity of the procurement process and create an unfair advantage against the majority of companies that are playing by the rules. Resolutions like this one – the largest GSA false claims settlement in history – demonstrates our commitment to ensure taxpayers are not overpaying for the products and services they receive.”
The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed on behalf of the U.S. government by former Oracle employee, Paul Frascella, who will receive $40 million as his share of the recovery in the case. Under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring lawsuits on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery obtained by the government.