Bell pays government costs

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Bell Helicopter has agreed to pay an additional $3.7m (£2.6m) to resolve civil claims arising from the company’s cost-charging practices on some of its contracts with the US government, bringing the total it has now been fined to $16.6m.

The US Army and other government agencies contract with the Fort Worth, Texas-based company to purchase helicopters and parts, modifications, customisation, and related goods and services.

In August 2004, Bell notified the US Defense Department’s inspector general that its billing of the costs of certain subcontracts, work transfers and other transactions with its subsidiaries, divisions and affiliated companies had resulted in overcharges to the government. The company submitted a report in 2006 describing its conduct and the financial impact on the government, and paid the government $12.9m

While the US government was investigating and analysing its conduct, Bell submitted additional reports detailing similar intra-company transactions with Bell Helicopter Textron Canada that also resulted in overcharges.

As part of the settlement announced this week, Bell agreed to pay an additional $3.7m to resolve any claims the US government may have from its more recently disclosed conduct.