House Bill No. 5923, An Act Concerning Fraud against the State
Committee on Judiciary
March 19, 2008
CCIA Position: OPPOSED
Connecticut Construction Industries Association is opposed to adoption of House
Bill 5923, An Act Concerning Fraud Against the State, which is a state false claims act.
Most would agree that a False Claims Act is an imperfect statute. If enacted, this law
will impose the specter of treble damages and high penalties on transactions in the
government marketplace, and will virtually guarantee a dramatic increase in lawsuits
asserted against innocent persons, even if a false claim is not committed.
Under the bill, any person who has been found to have submitted a false or
fraudulent claim for payment or approval to the state – or even an incorrect claim – is
subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000, plus three times the amount of the state’s
damages, and all costs for investigation and prosecution of any civil action brought by the
state. The bill permits qui tam actions, that is, lawsuits brought by private informants in
the name of the government charging false claims on the part of persons who are alleged
to have improperly received or used public funds.
The bill should be rejected by lawmakers because it can easily be used in
unintended ways for improper purposes. Under this bill, every company and
organization that works under a state-funded contract or seeks state reimbursement is
potentially subject to lawsuits comprised of aggressively asserted positions under a
growing number of legal theories that stretch the boundaries of the act. The bill is not in
the interest of the State or its citizens. Nor is it in the interest of the businesses that are
partners with the State, nor organizations that operate under state grants.
CCIA is opposed to adoption of a false claims act because:
• Potential misuse.
• A false claims act (FCA) is a powerful tool that could be easily misused to
intimidate lawful state contractors who are genuin