Joseph Wellington did not handle the question in an appropriate manner as he failed to answer the question asked and give supporting evidence of how the company handled Qui tam. If I was in Wellington’s position I would have explained to the participant that Qui tam is a term used to refer to a law suit initiated by a private citizen against a company for violating a regulation set by the government. The private citizen who initiates such a law suit is called a whistle blower (Doyle, 2010, p. 7). The whistle blowing in this case gets a percentage of the penalty that the company will be fined. The percentage given to the private citizen is seen as a reward for their pointing out the mistakes of the company (West, 2009, p. 23). I would also tell the participant that the company has a strict policy when it comes to whistle blowing in that it does not allow individual employees to bring up Qui tams against other companies and government contractors without the full knowledge of the management. This is so as to ensure that the Qui tam is not instigated by malice or a quest for heroism at the expense of a good relationship between the company and the contractor being sued.
Whistle blowing should be a welcome act at the workplace in that it allows for accountability by all managers. However it should be regulated to avoid employees taking advantage of confidential information they have to sue the company without first trying solving the issue using internal channels. In cases where whistle blowing is done for an honest reason, it ends up benefiting both the whistle blower and the company being sued. For example, John an employee at Pfizer filed a Qui tam against the company for marketing malpractices while dealing with Bextra. The employee got an award of $ 51.5 million while Pfizer benefited in the sense that a marketing malpractice was put to an end before it ended up costing them more (Ortiz, 2010, p. 56). This case was in 2009 and so if no action had been taken against Pfizer, chances are it would have degenerated into a company full of malpractices. However this Qui tam served as a warning to the company to ensure it functions within the law to avoid any other law suits and losses in terms of fines paid to the government and whistle blowers.
Doyle, C. (2010). Qui Tam: The False Claims Act and Related Federal Statutes. Boston:
Ortiz, I. (2010). Fighting Fraud with Qui Tam and the False Claims Act. New York: Nova
West, R. (2009). Advising the Qui Tam Whistleblower. New Jersey: American Bar Publishing.