In January 2018, the New York / New Jersey Port Authority enacted its own False Claims policy as part of sweeping integrity reforms designed to ensure that fraud and ethical misconduct by contractors and vendors are detected and stopped.
The new False Claims policy will punish contractors and vendors who intentionally make material false statements about work they perform or goods they provide for the Authority. The policy incentivizes reporting of False Claims by offering up to 25% of the amount recovered by the Authority to whistleblowers based, in part, on the level of information they provide.
“The Port Authority has zero tolerance toward any unethical conduct or fraudulent action that causes financial harm to this organization,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “This policy builds on other measures we adopted, and we will seek to investigate every claim brought to our attention and take legal action if fraud is uncovered.”
Individuals who report truthfully about a False Claim, or about any other wrongdoing, will be protected from retaliation under the Port Authority’s strong policy of penalizing vendors who retaliate against whistleblowers by finding that the retaliation is a material breach of the vendor’s contract with the Port Authority.
The False Claims policy is one of six policies the Port Authority has enacted over the last six months to protect the substantial investments to which it committed in its 2016-2017 Capital Plan. The new measures include codes of conduct for commissioners, employees, and vendors; best practices ethics training for employees; and the hiring of a Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer.