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