Hewlett-Packard agreed last week to pay the cash-strapped United States Postal Service $32.5 million amid allegations the company overcharged USPS between 2001 and 2010.
According to a release from the Justice Department, the tech company allegedly failed to comply with pricing terms established in a contract between the two entities.
The Justice Department’s Civil Division, USPS and the agency’s inspector general investigated the alleged contract breach. However, HP has not been deemed officially liable.
“Protecting the federal procurement process from false claims is central to the mission of the Department of Justice,” Stuart Delery, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in the release. “We will continue to ensure that when the government purchases commercial products, it receives the prices to which it is entitled.”
Thomas Frost, the Major Fraud Investigations Division special agent in charge at the USPS’ Inspector General’s Office, said the IG has no tolerance for those who try to take advantage of the Postal Service.
“The Postal Service said the public must have complete confidence in the procurement process and MFID will continue to work diligently to make that happen,” Frost said.
A spokesperson for HP said the company was happy to find a mutually-acceptable resolution.
“HP values its ongoing relationship with the U.S. Postal Service, and looks forward to continuing to deliver high-quality products and solutions to its valued customer,” the spokesperson said.
In May, the Postal Service reported a net loss of nearly $2 billion to end the second quarter. According to a release containing the financial numbers, the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 was the 20th out of 22 straight quarters that resulted in a loss for the independent government agency.
According to USPS Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett, the agency’s liabilities exceed its assets by $42 billion. At the end of September, USPS will be required to make a $5.7 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury for retiree health benefit prefunding. Without legislative action, according to the release, the agency will not be able to make the payment.