FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CIV
MONDAY, JUNE 3, 1996                               (202) 616-2765
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice announced
today that Battelle Memorial Institute has agreed to pay the
United States $330,000 to settle allegations it used government
-owned equipment to service commercial customers in violation of a
federal contract.
     The payment settles claims brought in a qui tam lawsuit by
Jagdish C. Laul, a former Battelle scientist at the Department of
Energy's Pacific Northwest Laboratory.  Battelle, a not-for-profit
Ohio corporation, operates the laboratory on behalf of DOE under 
an approximately $500 million annual contract.
     DOE, which owns most of the property and equipment at PNL,
allows Battelle to use the equipment under certain circumstances
for non-government customers.  The lawsuit alleged that Battelle
knowingly used DOE equipment for commercial purposes without
informing DOE and failed to pay DOE for the use of the equipment
as required under its operating contract.
     After the DOE Office of the Inspector General began an
investigation in 1992, Battelle reimbursed the government
$110,000 for unauthorized use of certain spectrometry equipment
from 1988 through 1992.  Spectrometers are used for chemical and
radiation analysis. 
     Laul brought the suit under the qui tam provisions of the
False Claims Act, which allows private individuals to sue on
behalf of the government and share in any recovery obtained as a
result of their lawsuit.  Under the settlement agreement, Laul
will receive $60,800 for bringing the action.
     The False Claims Act provides for the recovery of treble 
damages suffered by the government and penalties for each false
claim submitted.