The U.S. Justice Department recently recommended that other countries consider focusing on collusion in government procurement, touting the early success of its interagency strike force. During yesterday’s virtual meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Competition Committee, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim introduced the Antitrust Division’s recently formed Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), citing “significant signs of success on a national level and in the 13 U.S. Attorney Office partner districts.” The interagency task force has reportedly fielded inquiries from over 50 federal, state, and local government agencies and has trained more than 2,000 criminal investigators, data scientists, and procurement officials since its inception in November 2019. The Division announced that several grand jury investigations have been opened across the country as a result of the PCSF’s work, with over a third of the open investigations involving public procurements.
To the 38 member countries of the OECD committee and the EU, Delrahim emphasized the Division’s hope that “the Strike Force can serve as a model for other countries looking for innovative ways to more effectively fight bid rigging and other anticompetitive schemes that impact public procurement, and cheat taxpayers, all over the world.”
Crowell & Moring has established a PCSF Resource Center that is closely monitoring enforcement activity and assisting numerous government contractors with internal investigations and antitrust compliance.