Justice Dept forms group to combat contracting fraud


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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is forming a special group of prosecutors and watchdogs from several agencies to fight bid-rigging, price fixing and other fraud that hurts competition in federal government contracting.

Justice officials say the new effort against collusion in government procurement aims to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in contracting.

They noted that last year the federal government spent more than $550 billion, or about 40% of all non-mandated spending, on contracts for goods and services.

The task force will include prosecutors from the department's antitrust division and 13 U.S. Attorney's offices around the country, FBI investigators and inspectors general from the departments of Justice and Defense, the U.S. Postal Service and the General Services Administration.

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