National Science Foundation--Disposition of False Claims Act Recoveries
B-310725: May 20, 2008
The Inspector General (IG) for the National Science Foundation (NSF) may not credit to the IG appropriation amounts recovered pursuant to the False Claims Act that represent investigative costs incurred by the office. Recovery of these costs cannot be characterized as a repayment of an appropriation--the narrow exception to the miscellaneous receipts rule, 31 U.S.C. sect. 3302(b). Congress appropriates a specific amount to the IG for costs to carry out its duties under the Inspector General Act of 1978, including investigations of payments made pursuant to a false claim. Crediting the IG appropriation with these amounts recovered for investigative costs without specific statutory authority would violate the miscellaneous receipts statute and constitute an improper augmentation of the IG appropriation.