Gallup has agreed to pay the Department of Justice $10.5 million over allegations that the polling firm overstated the amount of time it took to complete contracts for the U.S. government, according to a statement released by the DOJ.
Gallup was accused of violating the False Claims Act and the Procurement Integrity Act in August 2012 over the overstated hours, which were for non-competitive contracts the firm was awarded. Because of these misstatements, the U.S. Mint and State Department, the awarding agencies, paid Gallup inflated prices, DOJ said.
The DOJ allegations followed accusations by David Axelrod, then-President Obama's campaign adviser, that Gallup used questionable polling methodology in an April 2012 poll that showed the chief executive trailing Republican rival Mitt Romney, 48 percent-43 percent. Gallup refused to change its methodology, and a short time later the DOJ revived the 2009 complaint from Gallup whistleblower Michael Lindley alleging the overstated hours.
"We are vigilant to protect taxpayers from contractors who overcharge the government," General Services Administration Inspector General Brian D. Miller said in the DOJ statement.