Billing Under Review
Date: Tuesday, January 31 2006
How many of these double-dipping corporations are we being ripped off by as well as subsidizing? 4Canada
Auditors saying firms overcharge
National Defence biggest target
Jan. 30, 2006. 01:00 AM
OTTAWA—Federal auditors are targeting some of the biggest names in corporate Canada for allegedly overcharging millions of dollars in their contracts with government, newly released documents show.
Most of the problems are at National Defence, which is still recovering from a massive $146 million contract fraud uncovered in 2003.
There were 62 contracts in dispute as of Aug. 31 last year, with auditors alleging some corporations have claimed for ineligible costs, excess profits, overpriced goods, incorrect wage rates and a dozen other problems altogether worth about $9.5 million.
Another 21 contract issues were resolved in the first eight months of last year, with the federal government recouping $2.9 million.
The overpayment disputes are with a who's who of Canadian firms, including Air Canada, Boeing Canada Technology, Bristol Aerospace Ltd., IBM Canada Ltd., Lockheed Martin Canada and Spar Aerospace Ltd., although there is no evidence these companies have done anything wrong.
Heavily censored documents outlining the alleged problems were obtained under the Access to Information Act from the Public Works Department, the clearing house for virtually all federal contracts.
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on February 1, 2006]