-- NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL I OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM Case Number: 1-02-11-0031 Page 1 of 1 ,I This investigation was initiated based on a qui tam received by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Baltimore, MD. The qui tam alleged that a social science research firm1 shifted labor costs from private contracts to government contracts, and charged government contracts for unallowable costs such as the preparation of bids and proposals, administrative labor, and overhead. , Our investigation confirmed the allegations and revealed that the firm submitted false claims2 to NSF as well as three other federal agencies3 in connection with federal grants and contracts. The firm entered into a monetary settlement agreement4. The firm was also required to enter into a four-year compliance plan with the NSF OIG. (The settlement agreement and compliance plan are attached to this closeout). In light of the above, no further investigative effort is necessary in this matter. I, Accordingly, this case is closed. I' NSF 01G Form 2 (1 1/02) I SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT This Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") is entered by and among the United Statesof America - on behalf of its agencies (1) the Department of Justice, (2) the Department of Education, (3) the Department. of Commerce, (4) the Department of Health and Human Services, l and (5) the National Science Foundation - the relator Jennifer Hanbury-Pobiak ("relator" or I "Pobiak"), COSMOS GROUP CORPORATION a/k/a COSMOS CORPORATION ("COSMOS"), Robert Yin ("Yin"), and Karen Kaufman-Yin ("Kaufman-Yin"), all collectivdly I hereinafter .referred to as "the Parties." PREAMBLE A. WHEREAS on or about October 24,2002, Relator Pobiak filed a qui tam acGon in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland entitled United States ex rel. Jennifer H. Pobiak v. COSMOS Corporation, Civil Action No. AMD-02-3478 ("the Civil Action") alleging that COSMOS Corporation violated the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. sections I 3729-3733; I B. WHEREAS the United States investigated the allegations in the relator's complaint;. I C. WHEREAS, as a result of its investigation, the United States contends that I COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin violated the False Claims Act, 3 1 U.S.C. $9 3729-3733, and/or common law doctrines by submitting claims for payment under the contracts identified II on the list attached hereto as Exhibit 1 that were false because they included as direct charges costs that should have been charged either to other contracts or to overhead accounts (the "Covered Conduct"); D. WHEREAS the United States contends that the Covered Conduct resulted in the I/ knowing submission of false billing claims to the government which enabled COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin to collect federal payments improperly; E. WHEREAS COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin deny any wrongdoing or liability based upon the contentions of the United States in paragraphs C and D above; and F. WHEREAS the Parties mutually desire to reach a full and final compromise of all civil claims the United States has or may have against COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufinan-Yin , based on the Covered Conduct, and further wish to avoid the delay, expense, inconvenience and 11 uncertainty of protracted litigation. TERMS AND CONDITIONS NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises, covenants, and '1 obligations in this Agreement, and for good and valuable considerations as stated herein, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the Parties agree as follows: 1. COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin agree to pay the United States the sum I of One Million Five Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($ 1,550,000.00) ("Settlement Amount"), and this sum shall constitute a debt immediately due and owed to the United States on the date that this Agreement is fully executed. The Settlement Amount shall be electronically transferred no later than the fifth (5h) business day following the date on which this Agreement is fully11 executed by the Parties, pursuant to written instructions provided to David Bodenheimer, counsel for COSMOS, Yin and Kaufman-Yin, by the U.S. Department of Justice. 2. Subject only to the conditions specified in Paragraph 3 below, on receipt \ of the payment described in Paragraph 1 above, the United States fully and finally releases add will be deemed to have released COSMOS, Yin and Kaufman-Yin from any civil monetary claims that the United States has or may have under the False Claims Act, 3 1 U.S.C. $8 3729i 3733 (as amended); the Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. $9 601-613; or the common law theories of payment by mistake, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, and fraud for the Covered Conduct. I 3. The United States specifically does not release COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin from (a) any potential criminal liability; (b) any criminal, civil or administrative claims arising under Title 26, U.S. Code (Internal Revenue Code); (c) any liability to the Unifed States (or any agencies thereof) for any conduct other than the Covered Conduct; (d) any obligations created by this Agreement; (e) any claims for defective or deficient services that F e not part of the Covered Conduct; (f) any claim for personal injury or property damage or for other consequential damage arising from the Covered Conduct; and (g) any administrative I liability except as referenced in Paragraphs 2 and 4. The United States does not release any ' claims based on the Covered Conduct against individuals other than Yin and Kaufman-Yin, including officers, directors, agents, employees, and shareholders of COSMOS. 4. In consideration of the obligations of COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin in I/ this Agreement and the Compliance Program ("CP") entered into between the Off~ceof the Inspector General for the National Science Foundation (OIG-NSF) and COSMOS, and li li conditioned upon full payment of the Settlement Amount as set forth in Paragraph 1 above, a d Il COSMOS'S full compliance with the CP, which is herein incorporated by reference and attached '1 hereto as Exhibit 2, the OIG-NSF agrees to release and refrain from instituting, directing, or maintaining any administrative action seeking debarment or suspension (as set forth in 48 C.F.R. subpart 9.4) of COSMOS based upon the Covered Conduct, except as otherwise reserved in , Paragraph 3 above, and as reserved in this Paragraph. Nothing in this Paragraph precludes the OIG-NSF fiom taking action against entities or persons, or for conduct and practices, for which claims have been reserved in Paragraph 3 above. 5. Pobiak agrees and represents that this settlement of the Civil Action is pir, adequate, and reasonable under all the circumstances, pursuant to 31 U.S.C. $ 3730(c)(2)(B). The United States agrees to pay Pobiak the sum of Two Hundred Sixty Three Thousand Five 11 Hundred Dollars ($263,500.00) from the payment described in Paragraph 1 above within a reasonable time after receipt by the United States of such payment pursuant to written instructions provided to the Department of Justice by relator's counsel. On receipt of this 'I payment, Pobiak, for herself, for her heirs, successors, and assigns, releases and will be deemed 'I to have released and forever discharged the United States, its officers, agents and employees, /I 3 from any claims arising from or relating to the filing of the Civil Action, or pursuant to 3 1 U.S.C. 11 $ 3730(d)(1), for a share of the proceeds of the settlement of claims under this Agreement; and II COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin from any claims she has or may have, including all claims that were or could have been asserted in relator's complaint. This Agreement does not resolye, or in any manner affect, any claims the United States has or may have against the relator arising under Title 26, U.S. Code (Internal Revenue Code), or any claims arising under this Agreement. I/ 6. Coincident with the full execution of this Agreement, counsel for the relator will, pursuant to Rule 4, provide counsel for the United States with a fully executed stipulation of dismissal with prejudice. Counsel for the United States shall file the said stipulation with the Court promptly upon notification that the government has received the payment referenced in paragraph 1 above. 7. COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufinan-Yin fully and finally release the United States, its agencies, employees, servants and agents, and relator, her heirs, successors, and 11 assigns, from any claims (including attorneys fees, costs and expenses of every kind and however denominated) which COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufinan-Yin now have and could have ll asserted or could in the future assert against the United States, its agencies, employees, servants, and agents, and relator, her heirs, successors, and assigns, related to the Covered Conduct an'U the United States' inirestigation and prosecution thereof. i 8. COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin agree that all costs (as defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations ("FAR) 3 1.205-470 incurred by or on behalf of COSMOS; Yin and Kaufman-Yin in connection with (I) the matters covered by this Agreement and the CP entered into by COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin with the OIG-NSF; (2) the government7si investigation of the matters covered by this Agreement; (3) COSMOS', Yin's, and Kaufman- Yin's investigation, defense and corrective actions, including the costs associated with the OIG- NSF CP, with respect to matters covered by this Agreement; (4) the negotiation of this Agreement; and (5) the payment made to the United States pursuant to this Agreement, shail be unallowable costs for purposes of government contracts and awards. These amounts shall be I/ separately accounted for by COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin. 9. Each party to this Agreement will bear its own legal and other costs incurred in connection with this matter, including the preparation and performance of this Agreement. 10. COSMOS, Yin and Kaufman-Yin waive and will not assert any defenges they may have to any criminal prosecution or administrative action relating to the Covered Conduct, which defenses may be based in whole or in part on a contention that, under the Double :I Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, or under the Excessive Fines Clause in the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, this Settlement bars a remedy in such criminal prosecution or administrative action. COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin agree that !his settlement is not punitive in purpose or effect. 11. This Agreement is made as a compromise to avoid the expense of litigation and to extinguish civil monetary claims as described in Paragraph 2 above. By entering into this Agreement, COSMOS, Yin, and Kaufman-Yin do not admit to any impropriety, wrongdoing, or liability of any sort. 12. COSMOS, Yin, Kaufman-Yin, and Pobiak represent that this Agreement is freely and voluntarily entered into without any degree of duress or compulsion whatsoever. 'I 13. This Agreement is governed by the laws of the United States. The Parties agree that the exclusive jurisdiction and venue for any dispute arising between and among the Il P,artiesunder this Agreement will be the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. 14. This Agreement constitutes the complete agreement between the Parties. The Parties agree that this Agreement does not constitute evidence, and is not an admission by any person or entity, and shall not be construed as an admission by any person or entity, with i respect to any issue of law or fact. f! 15. This Agreement shall be .binding upon the Parties, their successors, assigns, and heirs. 16. This Agreement shall become final and binding only upon signing by each respective party hereto. !! 17. This Agreement may not be changed, altered, or modified, except in 9 writing signed by all undersigned parties. This Agreement may not be discharged except by /I performance in accordance with its terms or by writing signed by all parties. 18. All Parties consent to the United States' disclosure of this ~~reernent,'and 11 information about this Agreement to the public. 19. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall, constitute an original and all of which shall constitute one and the same Agreement. 1 20. This Agreement is effective on the date of the last signatory to it. Facsimiles of signatures shall constitute acceptable, binding signatures for purposes of this Agreement. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ROD J. ROSENSTEIN United States Attorney District of Maryland By: Dated: Allen ~ . d & c k s Assistant United States Attorney By: 3&;4 61 bJ7ic~1)2, Dated: David B. Wiseman Trial Attorney I 1, Department of Justice I! /I Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch I I, COSMOS CORPORATION By: Dated: Robert Y in, President ROBERT YIN Dated: Robert Yin KAREN KAUFMAN-YIN Dated: Karen Kaufman-Yin RELATOR Dated: Jennifer Hanbury-Pobiak, Relator Dated: William Hardy, Esq. Counsel for Relator THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ROD J. ROSENSTEIN 1 United States Attorney District of Maryland By: Dated: Allen F. Loucks Assistant United States Attorney By: Dated: David B. Wiseman Trial Attorney Department of Justice Civil Division Commercial Litigation Branch ' COSMOS CORPORATION By: w* Y%, Robert President Dated: d l 3 ,\0? ROBERT YIN w . ~ Dated: I/ (310 7 I - Robert Yin KAREN KAUFMAN-YIN Dated: //hh7 # Dated: Jennifer Hanbury-Pobiak, Relator Dated: William Hardy, Esq. 'I Counsel for Relator MlWWWD HOME d A L d PAGE 02 ROD J. ROSENSTBW umtcd swea Aa#ncy District of Matyland BY; Ikted: IkvidB. Wsemaa I rid Attoraey i -ofhutice Civil Division c4mlmdLi*Brarch COSMOS CORPOIW"I'0N ROBERT W N KAREN K A m - Y I N RELATOR !I COSMOS Compliance Program Requirements I, Preamble 1. COSMOS agrees, as a term of its [date] Settlement Agreement (the Settlement Agreement) with the United States to which this Compliance Program is attached and incodorated by reference, to implement a Compliance Program (the "Program") to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions, General Grant Conditionr/FAR, and any Special Grant conditions, applicable to any National Science Foundation (NSF) Award; to ensure compliance yith all relevant laws and regulations governing NSF Awards as provided for in 45 CFR Parts 601 to 690, as applicable, as now or hereafter amended, and to demonstrate COSMOS'S commitment to the prevention of fiaud, false statements, and misspending of funds related to NSF Awards by COSMOS, its officers, relevant employees, and relevant independent contractors, sub-contractors, and sub-recipients. The Program shall be based upon an assessment of the risk of such unlawful activities, have adequate financial and human resources, and shall be maintained so as tollensure that COSMOS and each of its officers, relevant employees, and relevant independent contractors and sub-recipients maintain the integrity required of a recipient of NSF funds. Relevant embloyees and relevant independent contractors are those individuals with a material role or responsibility in the application for, receipt of, and administration of NSF Awards and those individuals who . conduct projects supported by NSF Awards, including independent contractors, sub-contractors, and sub-recipients. 11. Terms and Conditions I 2. The period of future compliance obligations assumed by COSMOS under this Compliance Program shall be four (4) years from the effective date of the Settlement ~grkement. The "effective date" shall be the date on which the final signatory to the Agreement execrtes the Agreement. The scope of this Compliance Program shall be limited to NSF funds that are received or claimed during the aforesaid four-year period. IVSF Office of Inspector General (OIG) shall monitor compliance with the requirements of this Compliance Program on behalf of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland. All reports and notifications required under this Compliance Program shall be sent to the NSF OIG Associate Inspector General for I Investigations, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I 3. COSMOS agrees to implement the following measures within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of the Settlement Agreement, unless otherwise specified below: A. Compliance !I (1) Compliance Officer 4. A senior level administrator, who shall be neither Karen ~ a u f r n a n - ~ i n ' n Dr. or Robert Yin, reporting to the President of COSMOS, shall be chosen as Compliance,,Officer. COSMOS shall be permitted to select either a company employee or an outside consultant or entity to perform the Compliance Officer responsibilities under this Compliance Program. The Compliance Officer shall be responsible for the Compliance Program operations including, where I appropriate, the review of NSF Awards, the development of training programs, and the submission of comprehensive written annual reports to the President and to NSF OIG on the status of compliance at COSMOS as set forth below. (2) Compliance Program ti I 5. The Compliance Program shall include identification of the positions throughout COSMOS that have roles and responsibilities in the conduct and administration of NSF Awards. Each of those roles and responsibilities shall be described so that their relationship to COSMOS'S responsibilities under NSF Awards is clear. The lines of responsibility shall be clearly established from each individual position up to and including COSMOS'S responsible signatory officJ?ls. All individuals in such positions will be provided with (or have electronic access to) written 'policies andlor procedures applicable to their positions, i.e.: a code of conduct holding COSMOS personnel to high ethical standards of professional conduct and integrity, including addressing conflicts of interest; accurate time and effort reporting under NSF Awards to meet the standards of the cost principles specified in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-1 10, (2 C.F.R. part 21 5) or others as appropriate; accurate charging of costs under NSF Awards; accurate monitoring, managing and reporting of cost sharing; proper monitoring of sub-recipients and consultants and sub-recipient and consultant charges; /I accurate reconciliation of accounting records; and document management and retention. 6. The Compliance Officer shall periodically monitor COSMOS'S internal controls to ensure compliance with all applicable Federal laws and regulations regarding the use and 1 expenditure of NSF Award funds. (3) Written Policies 7. Within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of the Seftlement Agreement, COSMOS shall implement written policies regarding its commitment to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations related to the receipt of NSF Awards. These policies shall be adopted and electronically provided by email to COSMOS officers and relevant employees. To meet its obligations hereunder, Cosmos shall be permitted to provide copies of such policies to senior management of any sub-recipient, independent contractor, or subcontractor, in lieu of making available such policies available individually to employees of such entitips. Such policies shall be updated to reflect any changes in COSMOS'S policies or practices. COSMOS'S compliance policies shall include disciplinary procedures for dealing with employees who fail to meet the terms and conditions of NSF Awards. Copies of such policies will be provided to NSF OIG. The contents of such policies shall be covered in any annual training of COSMOS employees as provided in paragraph 13. Any policy modified during the terms of this compliance piogram shall be included as part of the annual report sent to NSF OIG under paragraphs 10-12. B. Audit Requirements 8. In addition to the single audit requirements contained in OMB Circular ,A-133. COSMOS shall have conducted, on an annual basis, no later than 30 days after the annual anniversary of the Settlement Agreement, a comprehensive independent audit of COSMOS's compliance with all applicable Federal laws and regulations regarding the use and expenditure of NSF Award funds, including the applicable NSF Award conditions, FAR provision, and OMB 1 Circulars, where the scope includes a representative sample of NSF Awards ("independent annual audit"). Cosmos shall be permitted to engage either the firm conducting the OMB Circular A-133 audit or any other qualified person or entity to perform the independent annual audit, including the Compliance Officer, so long as the Compliance Officer is not an employee of COSMOS. Furthermore, the independent annual audit shall include each component of COSMOS that receives or has oversight responsibility with respect to NSF Awards and where appropriate shall be conducted in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards with a statistically-valid sample of NSF Awards. Special attention shall be devoted to risk assessment and internal controls designed to ensure compliance with NSF Award requirements, including the certifications made on applications, progress reports, financial reports, and other reports related to NSF Awards. Taking into consideration the size and resources of COSMOS' operations, the independent annulal audit shall also assess the efficacy of COSMOS's compliance program relative to whether: (a) COSMOS has established compliance standards and procedures to prevent and detect violation of law; 'I (b) COSMOS's leadership is knowledgeable about such standards and procedures and whether a high level person is assigned or retained to direct, ,, overall responsibility to ensure the implementation and effectiveness of the standards and procedures; I (c) COSMOS has made reasonable efforts to exclude from substantial authority any individual whom COSMOS knew or should have known through I1 exercise of due diligence, has a history of engaging in violations of law or other conduct inconsistent with an effective program to prevent and detect violations of law; however, NSF acknowledges and agrees that COSMOS " intends to retain Dr. Robert Yin as President and Karen Kaufinan-Yin as I CFO during the term of this Compliance Program ; (d) COSMOS has made reasonable steps to communicate its compliance standards and procedures to relevant employees through effective training I! programs and otherwise disseminating information appropriate to such individuals' respective roles and responsibilities; (e) COSMOS took reasonable steps to ensure that its program to prevent and detect violations of law is followed, to evaluate the effectiveness of the , compliance standards and procedures, and to provide a system whereby COSMOS's employees and agents may report or seek guidance regarding,, potential or actual violations of law without fear of retaliation, including mechanisms that allow for anonymous reporting; (f) COSMOS'S program to prevent and detect violations of law was enforced consistently through appropriate incentives and as necessary disciplinary measures for employees engaging in violations of law and for failing to take 1 reasonable steps to prevent or detect violations of law; and (g) COSMOS has taken reasonable steps, if a violation of law was detected, to respond appropriately and to prevent future violations of law, including I making any necessary changes to the program for preventing and detecting violations of law. COSMOS will provide NSF OIG with a copy of the written report and findings of the annual independent audit. COSMOS waives the right to claim that any final reports resulting from the independent annual audits as described above constitute attorney work product. 9. Any and all reviews and audits conducted at COSMOS, which reveal situations that might constitute or indicate noncompliance with NSF Award requirements, are to be timely disclosed to the entity or individual conducting the annual independent audit and the Compliance Officer. i C. Annual Written Reporting 10. COSMOS will annually provide NSF OIG with a written report identifying deficiencies discovered by internal audits or any other audit or review related to NSF Awards and the corrective actions that COSMOS has undertaken to address such deficiencies. Such reports shall be due one (1) year after execution of the Settlement Agreement and for each of the three (3) years thereafter. This report on COSMOS'S corrective actions related to NSF Awards shall include a certification by COSMOS'S Compliance Officer that all deficiencies have been addressed to ensure COSMOS'S compliance with all requirements of Federal law, regulations, related to NSF Awards and this Compliance Program. 11. All audit work papers or other supporting documents for audits or reviews of compliance with this Compliance Program shall be retained by COSMOS for three (3) years following the expiration of obligations under the Settlement Agreement and shall bl'e made available to NSF and NSF OIG upon request. ? 12. A "material violation" is one that has a significant adverse impact on the administrative, financial, or programmatic aspects supported by NSF Awards. Cosmos shall report to the NSF OIG within thirty (30) days of determining that a material violation has occurred when a material violation has been discovered during any audit, review or otherwise. The report shall also contain the corrective action that COSMOS has taken andlor plans to take to remedy the material violation. If COSMOS cannot cure any such material violation within thirty (30) days of its initial report, COSMOS will so inform NSF OIG of such within the thirty (30) days following COSMOS'S knowledge of such violation and provide regular status reports thereafter until such material violation has been resolved or otherwise cured. For all material violations, COSMOS will report its findings concerning the material violation, its actions to correct such material violation, and any further steps COSMOS plans to take to address such material violation and prevent it from recurring in the future. 4 ! D. Training 13. COSMOS shall institute and maintain a comprehensive training program designed to ensure that each officer and relevant employee is aware of all applicable laws, regulation, grant conditions and standards of conduct that such individual is expected to follow when participating in any way with NSF Awards, and any relevant independent contractor, sub-contractor, and sub- I1 recipient, and relevant employees thereof, is aware of all applicable laws, regulations, and standards of conduct that such individual is expected to follow in reporting to NSF on Awards, and the consequences both to the individual and COSMOS that will ensue from any violation of such requirements. Each officer and other relevant employee or independent contractor or sub-recipient shall receive at least two (2) hours of initial training that shall include a discussion of the dontents , of this Compliance Program as well as the relevant Award requirements, and shall receive additional compliance training of at least two (2) hours on an annual basis. A schedule and topic outline of the training shall be included in the annual report submitted to NSF OIG under paragraphs 10-12 above. To meet its obligations hereunder, COSMOS shall be to provide copies of its training materials to senior management of any sub-recipient, independent contractor, or subcontractor, in lieu of conducting training for employees of such entities. E. Confidential Disclosure Program 14. To the extent permitted by the laws of the State of Maryland, COSMOS shall establish a confidential disclosure mechanism enabling COSMOS'S employees and employees of COSMOS'S independent contractors, sub-contractors, and sub-recipient to disclose anonymously to COSMOS's Compliance Officer any practices, procedures, or acts considered by the employee to be inappropriate or a potential violation of law, regulation, or other NSF Award requirement. COSMOS shall make the confidential disclosure mechanism known to each relevant empl"oyeeas part of the training described above. COSMOS shall require the internal review of all such credible disclosures and ensure that proper follow-up is conducted. COSMOS shall include in its annual report to NSF OIG, under paragraphs 10-12 above, a summary of communications received under the confidential disclosure program, and the results of the internal review and follob-up of such disclosures. To meet its obligations hereunder, COSMOS shall be permitted to provide information about its confidential disclosure program to senior management of any sub-recipient, independent contractor, or subcontractor. F. Subcontractors and Subrecipients 15. COSMOS confirms its commitment to adhere to the NSF's General Grant Conditions and I/ other requirements incorporated therein by reference (including, but not limited to, the procurement standards identified in 2 CFR § 21 5). COSMOS hrther confirms its commitment to incorporate all required flowdown provisions in its agreements with any sub-recipient, independent contractor, or subcontractor. The Compliance Officer shall be responsible for monitoring , COSMOS's compliance with these requirements and will address the status of COSMOS's compliance in the annual reports to NSF. 111. NSF OIG Inspection, Audit, and Review Rights 16. In addition to any other right that NSF OIG has pursuant to NSF Award conditions or other authority, NSF OIG may examine and copy COSMOS's records for the purpose of verifying and evaluating: (a) COSMOS'S compliance with the terms of this Compliance Program; and (b) COSMOS's compliance with any NSF requirements. COSMOS shall make theirecords available at any reasonable time for inspection, audit, andlor reproduction. Furthenribre, for purposes of this provision, NSF OIG may interview any relevant COSMOS emplbyee at COSMOS's place of business during normal business hours or at such other place and time as may be mutually agreed upon between the employee and NSF OIG. NSF OIG recognizes and acknowledges that COSMOS does not have the authority or power to compel any employee to consent to an interview with the NSF OIG or anyone else, but COSMOS does agree to make available company work space and time during normal business hours for any interview agreed to by an employee. 17. In the event that NSF OIG believes COSMOS has breached any of its obligations under this Compliance Program, NSF OIG shall notify COSMOS of the alleged breach by email and certified mail (return receipt requested) to both COSMOS's Authorized Organizational Representative ("AOR") and its Compliance Officer, specifying the nature and extent of the alleged breach. COSMOS will have thirty (30) days from receipt of the notice to: (a) cure said breach; or (b) otherwise satisfy NSF OIG that ( I ) it is in full compliance with this ~ o d ~ l i a n c e Program or (2) the breach cannot be reasonably cured within thirty (30) days, but that COSMOS has taken action to cure the breach and is pursuing such action with diligence. 18. If, at the end of the thirty (30) day period described above, NSF OIG determines that COSMOS continues to be in breach of any of its obligations under this Compliance Program, NSF OIG may, by email sent to COSMOS's AOR and the Compliance Officer, state its position that COSMOS is in default and refer the matter for NSF to initiate proceedings to undertake appropriate administrative action, including but not limited to the suspension or termination of any or all NSF Awards and/or suspension or debarment of COSMOS. COSMOS shall have all of the rights of any other federal contractor or grantee under law or regulation to respond to, address, or dispute any such action. t 19. Should any action to enforce or interpret this Compliance Program or to resolve any dispute hereunder be required, COSMOS acknowledges the jurisdiction of the federal courts. COSMOS further agrees that, absent a breach of this Compliance Program and the Settlement Agreement to which it is attached and incorporated by reference, the execution of the said Settlement Agreement shall be final as to all matters alleged in the said Agreement. IV. Costs 20. COSMOS shall bear its own costs, expenses, and fees in relation to implementation of this Compliance Program. 21. All costs, whether direct or indirect, incurred by or on behalf of COSMOS in connection with the following are unallowable costs under the cost principles applicable to 1 government Awards (hereafter, "unallowable costs"): (1) the matters covered by this Compliance Program; (2) the negotiation of this Compliance Program and the Settlement Agreement (including attorney's fees) and, (3) any payments made pursuant to the Settlement Agreement. I) I 22. These unallowable costs will be separately estimated and accounted for by I COSMOS and COSMOS will not charge such unallowable costs directly or indirectly to any Federal Awards. V. Modification 23. Any modification to this Compliance Program shall not be effective until a written I amendment is signed by representatives duly authorized to execute such amendment. II VI. Integration Clause 24. This Compliance Program and the Settlement Agreement to which it is attached and incorporated by reference, embodies the entire agreement and understanding of the Parties with respect to the subject matter contained herein. There are no restrictions, promises, representations, warranties, covenants, or undertakings other than those expressly set forth or referred to in this Compliance Program and the Settlement Agreement. This Compliance Program, together with the I Settlement Agreement, supersedes any and all prior agreements and understandings between the I Parties with respect to this subject matter, except for the terms and conditions of individual I Awards. I I 1 25. This Agreement will be deemed effective on the date that the Settlement Agreement is fully executed and expire after four (4) years and NSF's receipt of the final annual report, whichever is later. [I
Admin. Financial Violations (PI/PS) Grant Fraud
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2007-06-29.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)