PeopleSoft whistleblower wins $17.7m bounty from US government

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PeopleSoft whistleblower wins $17.7m bounty from US government

Antony Savvas

A former PeopleSoft employee who blew the whistle on the company’s false price negotiations with the US government has received a $17.7m (£9.5m) bounty.

His actions have also led to Oracle agreeing to pay the US government $98.5m (£53m) to settle its liability for defective pricing disclosures made by PeopleSoft. Oracle bought PeopleSoft at the beginning of last year.

James Hicks reported the price negotiation practices of PeopleSoft to the authorities and used whistleblower legislation to sue Oracle and win a percentage of the settlement. 

The US government went after Oracle after it claimed that PeopleSoft issued false price disclosure information when it negotiated a contract under the General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) programme.

The US Department of Justice said the settlement resolved allegations that PeopleSoft “made pricing disclosures to GSA that were not current, accurate and complete concerning the sale of software licenses and related maintenance services”.

As a result of the defective disclosures, said the DoJ, most federal purchasers under PeopleSoft’s MAS contract paid inflated prices for purchases of software and services between March 1997 and September 2005.

As a result of the defective disclosures, said the DoJ, most federal purchasers under PeopleSoft’s MAS contract paid inflated prices for purchases of software and services between March 1997 and September 2005.

Due to Oracle’s acquisition of PeopleSoft – at the beginning of 2005 – it inherited PeopleSoft’s liability under the GSA contract. Oracle said it was not aware of the problem when it bought PeopleSoft.

 


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