Sunday, January 12, 2014

Obama Administration's Pick to Run Healthcare.gov has History of Government Fraud


ACCENTURE LLP, the Obama Administration’s choice to take-over 'rescue operations' at Healthcare.gov, has a history of committing fraud, waste, and abuse in its contracts with other Federal agencies like the Department of Education (DOE) and the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Just seven months ago, the Postal Service Inspector General’s office issued a “Management Alert” to outline “potential fraud risks associated with Accenture Federal Services Contracting Practices…”  
In the June 2013 document, the Deputy Inspector General for the Postal Service recommended:
“The Postal Service should consider Accenture for suspension or debarment and review existing contracts to determine whether the contracts warrant termination. This action would protect the Postal Service’s financial interest from unethical, dishonest, or otherwise irresponsible supplier practices.”

The letter expressed concerns about a 2012 audit for USPS conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). DCAA investigated Accenture’s Postal Service cost-estimating practices and found eight major deficiencies.
During the DCAA audit, it was noted that Accenture “refused to provide historical cost and pricing data on the projects it had completed for the Postal Service when requested.”

The Memorandum also details previous allegations brought against Accenture, including a 2011 agreement in which Accenture opted to pay $63.6 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Department of Justice.

The case charged that Accenture had engaged in fraudulent practices involving kick-backs, price-gouging, and bid-rigging while under contract with several Government agencies. According to a September 2011 press release, the suit was handled by the Department of Justice with assistance from seven other Federal Agencies.

In a November 2011 report to Congress, the Inspector General for the United States Department of Education indicated that the DOE had also been a party in the Justice Department lawsuit against Accenture:

“The settlement includes $3 million in payments made to Accenture by the Department [of Education] as a result of the contractor’s alleged false claims.”



Accenture’s legal troubles and shady practices don’t appear to be limited to its work within the Federal Government.


In May 2013, a Federal Appeals Court reaffirmed a judgement against Accenture for $44.4 million. Accenture was ordered to pay $26.2 million in compensatory damages and $18.2 million in punitive damages to Wellogix, Inc for “misappropriating” the Wellogix’s trade secrets by stealing the software company’s technology, source codes, and design specifications.
With multiple allegations of abuse, fraud, and theft, one has to question the Obama Administration’s wisdom in choosing Accenture LLP as the new lead contractor for Healthcare.gov.

As the Inspector General for the Postal Service so succinctly stated just a few months ago:

“Accenture’s actions demonstrate questionable business integrity.”



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