U.S. Attorney's Office Selects Corporate Monitor For Department Of Energy Prime Contractor CH2M Hill Plateau Remedition Company
Spokane, WA – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today the selection of Pamela M. Roberts, a former Supervisory Staff Accountant with the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the Corporate Monitor of CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC). The selection was made pursuant to the March Non-Prosecution Agreement (the Agreement) between CH2M Hill Companies Ltd, (CH2M Hill) and the U.S. Attorney's Office. As the Corporate Monitor for CHPRC, Ms. Roberts will ensure that CHPRC is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement and that CHPRC is in compliance with its own policies and procedures regarding the recording and reporting of labor hours to the Department of Energy (DOE). In addition, Ms. Roberts will monitor CHPRC's compliance with its contractual and regulatory obligations to DOE including those related to CHPRC's claiming of performance based incentives under its contract with DOE.
By way of the Agreement CH2M Hill admitted that its subsidiary CH2M Hill Hanford Group Inc. had criminally conspired with its own employees to defraud the United States through massive and systemic timecard fraud. Under the Agreement, as well as a related civil settlement with the Department of Justice, CH2M Hill has paid $18.5 million in damages and penalties related to the conspiracy and corresponding false claims. Among other terms and conditions in the Agreement CH2M Hill agreed to pay for a corporate monitor for three years at CHPRC, its remaining subsidiary at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington. The Agreement requires CH2M Hill to contribute up to $500,000 towards accountability systems to help ensure that hours charged by CHPRC to DOE are in fact actually worked. As the Corporate Monitor, Ms. Roberts will play a central role in working with CH2M Hill, DOE, and the OIG to implement this provision of the Agreement.
Michael C. Ormsby said, "We are very pleased that Ms. Roberts has agreed to be the corporate monitor at CHPRC. I am confident that she possesses the ability, experience, and drive to fulfill successful the responsibilities of the position. The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington is fully committed to assisting and supporting Ms. Roberts' monitoring mission, particularly in the area of labor hours and performance based incentives to which large bonuses for management are often tied. We cannot allow for another timecard fraud conspiracy to develop at Hanford. We anticipate that Ms. Roberts will work with cooperating CHPRC employees to prevent just that." Mr. Ormsby also said, "CH2M Hill has been true to its word and by all accounts has been fully complying with both the letter and spirit of the Agreement. We fully expect that they will continue their commendable assistance in the process of getting Ms. Roberts set up and supporting her efforts."
Under the Agreement Ms. Roberts will be given full access to CHPRC's records and computer network, all areas managed by CHPRC, and will have the ability to attend any meeting of CHPRC employees at any level of its corporate hierarchy. In addition, the Agreement calls for Ms. Roberts to have review and comment authority on CHPRC's policies and procedures as well as its internal audits. Ms. Roberts, though an independent monitor, will work with the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General (OIG) by, for instance, providing quarterly reports. The Agreement provides that, if CH2M Hill does not fully comply with its obligations, CHG is subject to criminal prosecution based, in part, on the official admissions of CHG that it did in fact criminally conspire with its own employees to defraud the United States.
Ms. Roberts will be the first corporate monitor ever appointed to monitor a contractor at the Hanford Site. Ms. Roberts is anticipated to officially start as the CHPRC Corporate Monitor on July 15, 2013 and will serve until March of 2016.