Preventing and Detecting Bid Rigging, Price Fixing, and Market Allocation in Post-Disaster Rebuilding Projects: An Antitrust Primer for Agents and Procurement Officials   [open pdf - 86KB]

"American consumers have the right to expect the benefits of free and open competition -- the best goods and services at the lowest prices. Public and private organizations often rely on a competitive bidding process to achieve that end. The competitive process only works, however, when competitors set prices honestly and independently. When competitors collude, prices are inflated and the customer is cheated. Price fixing, bid rigging, and other forms of collusion are illegal and are subject to criminal prosecution by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. As a member of the Department of Justice Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, the Antitrust Division is committed to offering our expertise and assistance in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. As FEMA and state and local government agencies with whom FEMA is coordinating begin to solicit competitive bids for rebuilding contracts, the Antitrust Division is prepared to provide assistance to these agencies to protect against bid rigging, price fixing and other collusive conduct among companies competing for rebuilding contracts. Experienced Antitrust Division attorneys are available to provide training to law enforcement agents, auditors, and procurement personnel in the affected areas to assist them in identifying and preventing potential bid rigging and collusion in the competitive bidding process. If collusive conduct is discovered, the Antitrust Division stands ready to criminally prosecute the individuals and corporations seeking to unjustly profit from this tragedy."

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