The Justice Department (DOJ) announced on Friday (Mar. 18, 2016) that it has filed a complaint under the False Claims Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina against two companies for allegedly overcharging the Department of Energy under a management and operations contract at the Savannah River Nuclear Site in Aiken, South Carolina.
The contractors in question are Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS) and Fluor Federal Services, Inc. (FFSI). SRNS is a joint venture of FFSI, Newport News Nuclear Inc. and Honeywell International.
The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) brief alleges that the contractors, since August 2008, “knowingly included unallowable costs in inflated claims to the United States Department of Energy (DOE), while falsely representing that such costs had not been claimed under the contract.” The costs in question include unallowable home office and bid and proposal costs as well as inflated claims.
The False Claims Act bars any person from knowingly presenting to the Government a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval.
DOE’s Savannah River Site is a 310-square-mile site located in Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties, South Carolina. The Savannah River Site was constructed in the early 1950s to produce weapons-grade plutonium and tritium for use in the United States’ nuclear weapons arsenal. The Savannah River Site is managed by the DOE-Savannah River Operations Office, located in Aiken, South Carolina, whose mission is to serve the national interest by ensuring the safe, open, and cost effective clean-up and maintenance of the Site and its nuclear materials. SRNS holds a contract with DOE to manage Site facilities.
The case is captioned United States v. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions and Fluor Federal Services, Inc., 1:16-825-JMC (D.S.C). The claims asserted in the United States’ complaint are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
A copy of the DOJ brief can be downloaded here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/833651/download