‘Qui tam’ is a common law term that refers to a lawsuit filed by a private citizen or a whistleblower against the government for alleged involvement in violation of performance contracts. Qui tam is also applicable in case when the government is involved in a general misconduct against what is stipulated in the statutes.
A person revealing misconduct in the operations of government contractors should have a legitimate case cushioned with concrete evidence. Having failed to provide substantiation, the whistleblower will compensate the government for damage (Doyle & Library of Congress, 2009, p 23). If the court dismisses a case as a false accusation against the government, the plaintiff or the person who files the case may end up being dismissed from the corporation if he or she is a civil servant.
A plaintiff in a qui tam suit is entitled to compensation in a form of reward for exposing a breach of conduct by fraudulent government contractors. Whistleblowers are face a lot of challenges because of lengthy court proceedings and intimidation from unscrupulous corporations involved in ripping state and federal governments (Roberson & Birzer, 2001, p 63). Sometimes, the state or federal government may come to help the plaintiff and take part in the negotiations against the defendant.
Joseph Wellington did not answer the question correctly. He somehow gives a clue on what is expected of any law abiding citizen who tries to indulge in filing a lawsuit against government contractors. Qui tam helps the public recover forfeitures and civil penalties from government contractors (Kohn, 2000, p 6).
In the United States, liability may arise from presentation of fraudulent or false claims, use of false records to make a claim, short changing the government while making property transfer, using false government receipts, unlawful selling or purchase of government property, retaliatory actions, false patent marking and false reverse claims against the government.
The legal procedure of filing a claim against fraudulent federal contractors under the false claims act is called a whistle blowing. A False Claims Act was enacted in the statutes to protect the federal government from losing their revenue to billings falsified by contractors.
From experience, such claims are filed by people who have a good knowledge of insider dealings undertaken by an organization e.g. military, Medicare or government spending programs (Page, 2001, p 11). In order to make a claim, a private person known as a relator files a lawsuit against a defendant on behalf of the state.
The relator must have first hand information and should be harmed personally by the dealings of the respondents. For instance, during the civil war in America between 1861 and 1865, the United States lost a lot of revenue to fraudulent dealings. The contractors who had been issued the right to supply the union army with defense weapons and armory supplied them with ill health mules and horses. Furthermore, they supplied them with faulty rifles and ammunitions.
The Justice Department became reluctant in prosecuting the contractors until the False Claims Act was enacted in March, 1893. The relator in the case was issued with a qui tam provision that entitled him to a 15-25% reward on the settlement amount charged against the defendant by the law court (Halbert & Ingulli, 2011, p 299).
Whistle blowing is a welcome practice at the workplace because government corporations are funded by the tax payer’s money. This means that any attempt to indulge in fraud does not only inconvenient when running government activities, but also compromises on the quality of services delivered by the contractors. In addition, the canons of taxation are breached hence the primary objective of taxation is lost.
Doyle, C & Library of Congress. (2009). Qui Tam: The False Claims Act and Related Federal Statutes. New York: Congressional Research Service.
Halbert, T & Ingulli, E. (2011). Law & Ethics in the Business Environment. Miami: Cengage Learning.
Kohn, S. (2000). Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law. Michigan; ABC-CLIO.
Page, W. (2001). Advising the Qui Tam Whistleblower: From Identifying a Case to Filing Under the False Claims Act. New York: American Bar Association.
Roberson, P & Birzer, M. (2001). Introduction to Private Security: Theory Meets Practice. Illinois: Pearson.