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02 November 2006 | Paul Snell
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is to set up a procurement fraud task force.
It follows the success of a similar unit that examined contract fraud in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Assistant attorney general Alice Fisher, who led the Katrina team, will head the new unit.
In the past year the Katrina task force has charged more than 400 people with fraud, including a number with corruption in the award of contracts.
The DoJ said the remit of the new task force covers identifying and prosecuting fraud in purchasing at all levels of government. It will focus on false pricing, misuse of classified procurement information, bogus claims, irregularities in contracts and ethical issues.
Officers from 27 agencies, including the FBI, CIA, NASA and the armed forces, will standardise purchasing fraud investigation methods and examine existing deception laws.
"The public needs faith in the integrity of the procurement system and to know that cheats will be held accountable," Fisher said in a statement.