Accenture to Pay $63.7M Fine to Settle DOJ Kickback Case

The DOJ charged that as a result of these kickbacks from other companies, Accenture caused a high number of false claims to be submitted during the procurement process for IT contracts with U.S. government agencies.

IT integration and consulting firm Accenture on Sept. 12 agreed to pay a fine of $63.7 million to settle a Department of Justice lawsuit charging that it accepted kickbacks from IT companies in exchange for good recommendations to federal agencies looking for new technology.
The DOJ, which has been on the warpath with several IT companies for five years on cases of this nature, stated in court documents that as a result of these kickbacks, Accenture caused a high number of false claims to be submitted during the procurement process for IT contracts with U.S. government agencies.
Accenture, a longtime U.S. government contractor, advises federal agencies on how to acquire IT hardware, software and services. It also contracts with selected technology companies to provide integrated solutions for specific IT projects for the federal government.
Specifically, the DOJ said in court documents that Accenture received improper payments and rebates through partnerships it had established with a list of companies. Three of the more prominent ones on that list included IBM, data storage and protection provider EMC, and Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in January 2010.
In August 2010, Hewlett-Packard agreed to pay $50 million to settle a similar lawsuit filed by the DOJ. Whistleblower lawsuits, filed by officials with Accenture and PricewaterhouseCoopers, initially were filed in 2004 against Accenture, HP and Sun Microsystems for allegedly soliciting payments or making those payments for governmental technology contracts.
The DOJ joined the whistleblower lawsuits with its own court action in 2007.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...