Our client provided security services to the US Government in Iraq and was investigated by the Government’s DCIS agency in response to a whistleblower claiming that the client was overfilling the US Government for the services it provided.
The claim was made that the client was billing for additional personnel being on task than were actually on task.
It was suspected that the whistleblower in this instance was financially motivated to make a potentially bogus claim as whistleblowers in such cases have a financial incentive because the US Government may make a financial award upon recovery.
How Blackhawk Approached The Case
During the pursuit of this case we used the following investigative tools and skills:
- Worked with the client to identify the evidential trail – this required a forensic analysis of the records of operating functions, back office cross-reference functions (eg insurance or equipment issue) and finance & billing functions
- Recommended an entirely open (non-combative) approach to the US Government to foster trust and represent openness in the client’s billing procedures
- Interviewed internal staff
- Investigated possible motives for whistleblower
Factors Contributing To Success
We believed that the inherent mistrust between the US Government and the client as a supplier was in part responsible for the incident. To counter this in the future and to improve relationships all round we instilled an atmosphere of open cooperation initiated by the client. This led the US Government to cooperate in turn by sharing their own data to allow inadvertent discrepancies to be addressed rather than treated as intentional mis-billing.
We advised the client to treat the allegations as weighty and serious, advising them to commit senior management resource to a swift and clinical investigation. This established the facts on a short timescale before allegations escalated and the ongoing contract could be harmed.
We promoted a pragmatic and open-minded approach towards all sides of a situation.
Our experience and skills afford us the ability to work within an organisation and interact with an internal audit on a level enjoying mutual respect and cooperation.