Antitrust Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Kades Gives Remarks at Annual CRA Brussels Conference 2023
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Good afternoon. I am pleased to join the Department of Justice’s announcement today of our Procurement Collusion Strike Force, along with Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division, Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers, and Assistant Director Terry Wade of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, as well as 10 members of our U.S. Attorney community and representatives from the offices of inspector general of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Postal Service, and General Services Administration (GSA).
Taxpayers rightfully expect their tax dollars to be spent responsibly, and this Administration will not tolerate criminal activity that seeks to profit unfairly at the expense of taxpayers. I am therefore pleased to be here today to support the establishment of a Procurement Collusion Strike Force. This Strike Force will target bid-rigging and other antitrust crimes that can cost American taxpayers billions of dollars each year by undermining the federal government’s processes for purchasing goods and services and for money granted to states and municipalities to undertake large, high-dollar-figure public improvement projects.
When government contractors collude with each other to rig bids for government contracts at the federal, state, or local level, it leads to artificially higher prices for those goods or services. When the government has to pay those artificially higher prices, all American taxpayers are paying for it. As Assistant Attorney General Delrahim will explain further in a moment, the mission of this Strike Force is to combat this criminal activity by improving how we leverage the collective expertise and capabilities of the Antitrust Division, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, and Offices of Inspector General across several agencies, including the Department of Defense. This new Strike Force will better inform federal, state, and local government procurement communities about these criminal activities and how to detect and report them.
The Strike Force’s mission is important work that will benefit all Americans. I would like to thank Assistant Attorney General Delrahim and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Powers for their leadership in forming this Strike Force. I would like to recognize and thank our 13 U.S. Attorney Strike Force initial partners who have stepped up to the plate by prioritizing this important enforcement effort, including the 10 who are here today. I would also like to thank our colleagues at the FBI, Department of Defense, and our Inspector General partners, whose contributions to this Strike Force are vital to its success.
I will now ask Assistant Attorney General Delrahim to further describe the new Strike Force, and I know he will be looking forward to answering your questions as well. Thanks very much.