A project management oversight company that supervised an Amtrak construction project has agreed to pay the federal government $900,000 to resolve civil claims of improper billing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has announced.
URS contracted with Amtrak under a project management oversight agreement, which among other things, required URS to bill accurate labor and overhead rates for the employees working on multiple projects.
The government alleged that from 2011 to 2014 URS continued to bill overhead at a maximum rate listed in the contract without adjusting the overhead rate to actual costs incurred, along with billing employees who worked at home overhead rates even though they were designated as field employees in the company’s general ledger.
According to federal prosecutors, the case came about when an audit of URS’s billing showed discrepancies.
According to the settlement agreement between URS and the government, URS does not admit to any wrongdoing.
“This settlement agreement is made in compromise of disputed claims. It is neither an admission of liability by URS nor a concession by the United states that its claims are not well-founded,” the agreement read. “Neither this agreement, its execution, nor the performance of any obligation under it, including any payment are intended to be, or shall be understood as an admission of liability or wrongdoing, or other expression reflecting on the merits of the dispute by URS.”
The agreement also stated that URS will cooperate with authorities in further investigations into the matter involving other entities.
“URS agrees to cooperate fully and truthfully with the United States’ investigation of individuals and entities not released in this agreement. Upon reasonable notice, URS shall encourage, and agrees not to impair, the cooperation of its directors, officers and employees, and shall use its best efforts to make available, and encourage, the cooperation of former directors, officers and employees for interviews and testimony, consistent with the rights and privileges of such individuals,” the agreement said. “URS further agrees to furnish to the United States, upon request, complete and unredacted copies of all non-privileged documents, reports, memoranda of interviews, and records in its possession, custody or control concerning any investigation of the covered conduct that it has undertaken, or that has been performed by another on its behalf.”
URS’ attorney, Stanley A. Twardy Jr. of Day Pitney in Stamford, Connecticut, did not return a call seeking comment.