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Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

Fraud, waste, and abuse (FWA) of Federal Government monies and services cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

What is Fraud, Waste, and Abuse?

  • Fraud: wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Fraud includes false representation of fact, making false statements, or by concealment of information.
  • Waste: thoughtless or careless expenditure, mismanagement, or abuse of resources to the detriment (or potential detriment) of the U.S. government. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs resulting from inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls.
  • Abuse: excessive or improper use of a thing, or to use something in a manner contrary to the natural or legal rules for its use. Abuse can occur in financial or non-financial settings.

Who Reports FWA?

Reporting suspected instances of FWA is a duty of all citizens, in particular Government employees.
  • Government employees required per 18 CFR � 3c.3 and 5 CFR Sec. 2635.101
  • Navy employees required per DoD 5500.07R, Joint Ethics Regulation (JER)

Reporting FWA

Types of Fraud in the SBIR/STTR Programs

  • During the Application Process:
    • Submitting a plagiarized proposal
    • Providing false information regarding the company, the Principal Investigator or work to be performed in a proposal
    • Seeking funding for work that has already been completed
  • During the Period of Performance of the Award:
    • Using funds for personal use or any use other than the proposed activities
    • Submitting plagiarized reports or reports falsely claiming work has been completed
    • Claiming results for an award that were funded by a different source


The DON SBIR/STTR liaison for FWA to the Office of the General and the Suspension and Debarment Official (SDO) is Robert L. Smith, Director, DON SBIR/STTR Programs. Direct FWA inquiries to Mr. Smith at [email protected].

Examples of SBIR/STTR Fraud-related Cases