Other Countries Look to United States for False Claims Act Model

When people hear of "fraud" and "Nigeria," they think of emails from African princes. But the African country is dealing with its own internal fraud problems by implementing a whistleblower policy similar to the False Claims Act. And though it is only two months old, it is already seeing millions in returns. ‘‘It is doubtful if any economy in the world will not feel the impact of such mind-boggling looting of the treasury as was experienced in Nigeria,’‘ the Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said. Whistleblowers in Nigeria may be entitled to 2.5% and 5% of the amount recovered.

A recent submission to an Australian Government inquiry indicates Australia is also looking at implementing its own FCA and whistleblower statutes. Lesley Ann Skillen, the former director of policy and international relations at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, stated in a submission to a government inquiry: "There is no more compelling argument for the introduction of a US-style whistleblower-for-reward law modeled on the False Claims Act in Australia than the track record of the act in the United States." Ms. Skillen has urged Australia to introduce legislation with bounties and provisions to safeguard identities of whistleblowers.

With $69 billion in recoveries in the US since 1986, the program should be appealing to governments around the world.