For years, the United States Justice Department has argued that government employees cannot bring qui tam actions under the federal False Claims Act. For support, the Justice Department has maintained that the Act’s public disclosure bar is trigger when the government employees disclose the fraud allegations to themselves, private citizens. Furthermore, because the government employee is required to report fraud as a condition of employment, the employees do not “voluntarily” supply the information to the government, as required by the public disclosure bar’s original source exception.
Courts have almost uniformly rejected this argument. In addition to spotlighting the disconnect with the False Claims Act’s statutory language, the courts have stressed the important role government employee-relators play in ferreting out fraud, particularly when a governmental agency is captured by a corrupt industry.
Recently, the Third Circuit joined the chorus, when it held that government employees can file qui tam actions. Even more noteworthy, the court held that government investigators can file actions based on information they uncover during the course of their employment.
More information for whistleblowers is located at the Nolan & Auerbach, P.A. website.