A contracting officer of a contracting agency may offset the amount of a kickback provided, accepted, or charged in violation of section 53 of this title against any moneys owed by the United States to the prime contractor under the prime contract to which such kickback relates.
(1) Upon direction of a contracting officer of a contracting agency with respect to a prime contract, the prime contractor shall withhold from any sums owed to a subcontractor under a subcontract of the prime contract the amount of any kickback which was or may be offset against that prime contractor under subsection (a) of this section.
(2) Such contracting officer may order that sums withheld under paragraph (1)—
(A) be paid over to the contracting agency; or
(B) if the United States has already offset the amount of such sums against that prime contractor, be retained by the prime contractor.
(3) The prime contractor shall notify the contracting officer when an amount is withheld and retained under paragraph (2)(B).
An offset under subsection (a) of this section or a direction or order of a contracting officer under subsection (b) of this section is a claim by the Government for the purposes of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 [41 U.S.C. 601 et seq.].
As used in this section, the term “contracting officer” has the meaning given that term for the purposes of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 [41 U.S.C. 601 et seq.].
(Mar. 8, 1946, ch. 80, §6, as added Pub. L. 99–634, §2(a), Nov. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 3524.)
The Contract Disputes Act of 1978, referred to in subsecs. (c) and (d), is Pub. L. 95–563, Nov. 1, 1978, 92 Stat. 2383, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 9 (§601 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code see Short Title note set out under section 601 of this title and Tables.
Section effective with respect to conduct described in section 53 of this title which occurs on or after Nov. 7, 1986, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 99–634, set out as an Effective Date of 1986 Amendment note under section 51 of this title.