The importance of the False Claims Act in the middle age of NPM and reinventing government stream: Rethinking process-oriented accountability
From the business-oriented managerial perspective, which considers public administration as a field of business, new public management (NPM) and the reinventing government movement proved the most popular reforms of the late twentieth century; they are still prevalent in many parts of government today. These reforms emphasize the values of efficiency, economy, effectiveness, flexibility, and result-oriented accountability, while procedurally oriented controls, related to procurement, personnel and human resource management, and organizational design, are considered to be impediments to efficient and effective government. In order to achieve the efficient government, the NPM and reinventing government have reduced government regulation, decreased the federal workforce, and promoted outside contracting-out and privatization. These tactics, however, increase opportunities for corruption: rational firms subject to less regulation and decreased government oversight are driven, potentially illegally, by self-interest. An increase in the number of qui tam cases could be significant evidence that the NPM and reinventing government reforms have fermented opportunities for corruption. In fact, since the early 1990s, there has been a significant increase in qui tam cases against government contractors who have made fraudulent claims for approval and payment. A variety of factors affect the number of qui tam cases, including the 1986 amendment of the False Claims Act (FCA), which provides improved legal environment for whistleblowers by increasing financial incentives, prohibiting retaliation and discrimination and alleviating the strict requirements of whistle-blowing. This research focuses on the Department of Defense and uses a single interrupted time series design to analyze time series data from 1951 to 2005. The analysis reveals that the NPM and reinventing government reforms, as well as the 1986 amendment of FCA, have a statistically significant relationship with the number of qui tam cases. The results of this research suggest that the singular focus on efficiency and economy-oriented government reforms create and increase opportunities of fraud and corruption of government contractors, and that the 1986 amendment of the False Claims Act has been effective in increasing the number of qui tam cases. Furthermore, this research recommends that the efficiency oriented government should be changed to make the government more concerned about process-oriented accountability, fairness, and transparency, and whistleblower protection should be a prior to make contractors more accountable.