Yesterday, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing entitled “Oversight of the False Claims Act,” in which corporate lobbyists organized by the Chamber of Commerce worked to advance their agenda to cripple the False Claims Act.

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Today, the National Whistleblower Center rallied support from its network of supporters across the country to defend the False Claims Act from proposals made before the House Judiciary Committee to cripple the law’s protections for whistleblowers. The False Claims Act is considered the most effective tool to prevent fraud on government contractors and protect taxpayer dollars. Over 42 billion dollars has been recovered from government contract fraud through False Claims Act whistleblower cases since 1986.

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The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fallen for a trap laid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber and its big corporate allies have led a long campaign dedicated to eroding protections for whistleblowers who report crimes. One of their favorite tactics is to try to get whistleblowers to report issues to the company’s attorneys or other company-led programs. They want to discourage reporting to law enforcement authorities, making it harder to rein in corruption on Wall Street and Corporate America at large.

Now the Chamber of Commerce is at it again and they’ve roped in OSHA to support them.

Take Action: tell the DOL they need to protect whistleblowers.
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The Chamber of Commerce has commenced a well-financed and aggressive lobbying campaign to undermine America’s most effective whistleblower law, the False Claims Act. To justify its anti-whistleblower campaign the Chamber published a report entitled, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms.” The purpose of this blog series is to combat the Chamber’s misinformation, and explain why the False Claims Act must be protected.

Fact Number 17:

The Chamber’s report alleges that the FCA “incentivize[s] the filing of frivolous lawsuits” and “generates unnecessary litigation costs for government and businesses.” The report also implies that the over-filing of FCA claims is a problem as “litigation under the FCA has steadily increased.”

These claims are completely unsupported.  
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The Chamber of Commerce has commenced a well-financed and aggressive lobbying campaign to undermine America’s most effective whistleblower law, the False Claims Act. To justify its anti-whistleblower campaign the Chamber published a report entitled, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms.” The purpose of this blog series is to combat the Chamber’s misinformation, and explain why the False Claims Act must be protected.

Whistleblowers and their supporters are strongly urged to read this blog series and share it with friends. In addition, an Action Alert has been issued by the National Whistleblower Center so members of the public inform their representatives that the False Claims Act should not be “reformed” as proposed by the Chamber.

Fact Number 16:

The Chamber’s proposal that employees be compelled to report fraud to their bosses or  to corporate counsel managed compliance programs violates numerous Supreme Court precedents, fundamental public policies, and the Federal Obstruction of Justice statute.  
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The Chamber of Commerce has commenced a well-financed and aggressive lobbying campaign to undermine America’s most effective whistleblower law, the False Claims Act. To justify its anti-whistleblower campaign the Chamber published a report entitled, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms.” The purpose of this blog series is to combat the Chamber’s misinformation, and explain why the False Claims Act must be protected.

Fact Number 15: 

In its comprehensive rulemaking, the Securities and Exchange Commission also evaluated the cost-benefit analysis of “encouraging” internal reporting programs but not “mandating” these programs.  The Commission correctly recognized that the competition between internal corporate programs and a well-managed government reward program would strongly encourage companies to institute effective compliance departments.  If internal reports became mandatory, the positive pressure caused by competition would be lost. 
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The Chamber of Commerce has commenced a well-financed and aggressive lobbying campaign to undermine America’s most effective whistleblower law, the False Claims Act. To justify its anti-whistleblower campaign the Chamber published a report entitled, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms.” The purpose of this blog series is to combat the Chamber’s misinformation, and explain why the False Claims Act must be protected.

Fact Number 13:

The Chamber of Commerce uses the phrase “corporate compliance” in a misleading and disingenuous manner.  In a major U.S. Court of Appeals 2014 case, the Chamber’s position on such internal compliance programs was clarified.  The Chamber vigorously argued that such programs were, as a matter of law, part of a company’s General Counsel.  They argued that compliance departments were not independent investigatory bodies, but simply fact-finding bodies designed to provide information to company attorneys.  As such, compliance investigations could operate in complete secrecy, and their findings could be kept secret from the government, even if subpoenaed. 
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The Chamber of Commerce has commenced a well-financed and aggressive lobbying campaign to undermine America’s most effective whistleblower law, the False Claims Act. To justify its anti-whistleblower campaign the Chamber published a report entitled, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms.” The purpose of this blog series is to combat the Chamber’s misinformation, and explain why the False Claims Act must be protected.

Fact Number 11:

Unlike the impression given in the Chamber’s report, the FCA is not a negligence or strict liability law. As explained by the Department of Justice in its FCA Primer:  “A person does not violate the False Claims Act by submitting a false claim to the government.”   
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The Chamber of Commerce has commenced a well-financed and aggressive lobbying campaign to undermine America’s most effective whistleblower law, the False Claims Act. To justify its anti-whistleblower campaign the Chamber published a report entitled, “Fixing the False Claims Act: the Case For Compliance-Focused Reforms.” The purpose of this blog series is to combat the Chamber’s misinformation, and explain why the False Claims Act must be protected.

Whistleblowers and their supporters are strongly urged to read this blog series and share it with friends. In addition, an Action Alert has been issued by the National Whistleblower Center so members of the public inform their representatives that the False Claims Act should not be “reformed” as proposed by the Chamber.

Fact Number 5:

The Ethics Resource Center (ERC), in its “National Business Ethics Survey of the U.S. Workforce 2013,” found that whistleblower reward laws, such as the False Claims Act, significantly increased the likelihood that employees would report fraud and misconduct “both internally and externally.”


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