What is the difference between qui tam and the False Claims Act?

Qui tam refers to the action of filing a lawsuit on behalf of the government. The False Claims Act is one statute which authorizes qui tam cases in certain circumstances (i.e., after someone makes a false claim).

Other statutes also authorize qui tam actions, such as the Internal Revenue Service’s Whistleblower Act and the Security and Exchange Commission’s Whistleblower Act. In addition to federal statutes, many states have laws allowing qui tam actions for fraud against the state government.