Pennsylvania company agrees to $54K payment, enhanced compliance measures to resolve claims it failed to adhere to ‘Buy American’ requirements on 30th Street Station Project
For Immediate Release:
May 26, 2021
PHILADELPHIA – Wescott Electric Company of Aston, Pennsylvania, agreed to pay $54,983 and implement enhanced compliance measures to resolve claims arising from its use of Chinese-made parts during a fire alarm installation and renovation project at Amtrak’s 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, according to a May 20, 2021 announcement from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Attorney’s office.
Companies contracting with Amtrak are responsible for complying with a federal regulation which establishes a preference for using American-made parts when fulfilling those contracts. The United States alleges that Wescott neither determined that its parts were American-made nor worked through Amtrak’s process for obtaining a waiver to this rule. The renovation at William H. Gray 30th Street Station was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“The American people deserve fair and honest services from Amtrak contractors, and this includes adhering to laws which require them to use American-made products to the greatest extent reasonable, consistent with public interest,” said Michael Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the Amtrak Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Field Office. “This settlement underscores our commitment to protect Amtrak funds, American taxpayers, and the traveling public, and we appreciate the seamless collaboration with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Transportation OIG throughout this investigation.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Williams highlighted Wescott’s agreement to enhance its compliance program.
“Wescott reacted promptly to the government’s investigation and cooperated fully, taking serious steps to make sure this issue never recurs,” said Williams. “We hope Wescott’s compliance measures will be a model for other grantees and contractors looking to meet their responsibilities to the United States.”
This investigation was conducted as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Strike Force’s procurement fraud initiative with investigators from Amtrak OIG and the U.S. Department of Transportation OIG.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.
Reports of fraud, waste, or abuse; criminal or unethical acts by an Amtrak employee, contractor or vendor; or mismanagement in Amtrak programs or operations can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week by Amtrak employees, contractors, or the public via the Amtrak OIG Hotline at 1-800-468-5469 or online at https://amtrakoig.gov/report-fraud-waste-abuse.