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The United States has joined a lawsuit filed against several companies and individuals associated with the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi. The defendants include Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) and Applied Enterprise Solutions (AES), along with the Chief Executive Officer of AES, Dale Galloway. Also named in the suit are two former government officials, Stephen Adamec, the Space Center’s former Director of the Naval Oceanographic Major Shared Resource Center (NAVO MSRC) and Robert Knesel, the Deputy Director of NAVO MSRC. Filed by a whistleblower, the suit alleges that SAIC conspired with the government officials to obtain the 2004 multi-billion dollar contract for a computing center at the Space Center. Even before a request was made for the computing center, the lawsuit claims, the three men secretly conspired for six months to provide private information to SAIC that was never made available to other prospective bidders. The defendants’ collaboration constituted a violation of the federal False Claims Act. In particular, the suit claims that Knesel and Adamec, while still government employees, collaborated with the other defendants to ensure that SAIC and its partners were awarded the Space Center contract. The former government officials allegedly shared with SAIC private, advance procurement information that was not given to other potential bidders; leaked information about the solicitation for bids to SAIC before providing such information to other bidders; and selected a type of contract that biased the selection process in favor of SAIC.
The whistleblower in the case was David Magee, a former employee with NAVO MSRC. Mr. Magee filed the suit under the Qui Tam provision of the False Claims Act, which provision permits a private party, called a “relator,” to file suit on behalf of the United States. If the suit is successful, the whistleblower is entitled to a portion of the government’s recovery.
For the full story, go to Department of Justice’s Press Release.