The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have created numerous contracting opportunities for U.S. and foreign companies, but the tumultuous environments there and elsewhere in the U.S. Central Command CENTCOM Area of Operations, especially Kuwait and Bahrain, have also presented substantial challenges to the successful completion and closeout of such contracts. Security issues and other obstacles, including the challenges of a dynamic customer relationship marked by frequent turnover in deployments, have made the reconstruction of those countries’ infrastructures and military bases difficult, and contractors routinely incur increased costs and schedule delays.
Wiley Rein has amassed a wealth of experience assisting government contractors performing or seeking contracts in these war-torn countries. When needed, our attorneys have traveled to these regions to provide on-site guidance and assistance. We understand and have worked with the key government agencies that are essential in the reconstruction process, including the Joint Contracting Command Iraq-Afghanistan (JCC-I/A), the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) both abroad and in the continental U.S. (CONUS), the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force Center for Engineering and Environment (AFCEE), the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
We assist reconstruction contractors and subcontractors with the myriad legal issues they encounter in the battlefield environment, such as contractual and regulatory questions, host nation law compliance, termination issues, audits and investigations, training requirements, subcontractor disputes, and, as appropriate, requests for equitable adjustment (REAs) and certified claims.
Our experience in these regions is demonstrated by the following representative matters:
- Obtained $7.3 million settlement from JCC-I/A for two REAs related to construction projects in Iraq.
- Prosecuted 13 claims on behalf of a Kuwaiti corporation with the U.S. Marine Corps/JCC-I/A on contracts performed in Iraq totaling $8.1 million.
- Pursued and obtained a settlement from the USACE of an REA related to a construction project in Bagram, Afghanistan.
- Prosecuted a claim at the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) related to a construction project in Kirkuk, Iraq; at alternative dispute resolution (ADR) with the board, obtained a favorable settlement with USAID and another contractor.
- Assisted in preparation and submission of REA to the USACE regarding reconstruction projects in Basra, Iraq.
- Pursued REA with the U.S. Army regarding contract to perform repairs arising from terrorist action in Iraq and obtained a favorable settlement.
- Persuaded the SIGIR to terminate an investigation and withdraw a subpoena regarding an oil pipeline repair contract in Iraq.
- Represented contractor in protests of awards of construction and renovation projects within Baghdad and Al Anbar province and counseled client concerning claims in ongoing construction projects in Baghdad.
- Represented an Iraqi company that provided products to the military coalition and defended a threatened default termination after one of the items allegedly failed.
- Prosecuted two appeals of claims against USAID for disallowed prime contract and subcontract costs in Iraq, resulting in a landmark decision permitting contractors to substantiate costs through testimony when key records were lost at the Baghdad airport.
- Represented awardee in protest relating to support operations at Camp Cropper in Iraq.
- Represented Saudi firm in responding to Army Suspension/Debarment Official (SDO) Request for Information regarding alleged kickbacks relative to work in Iraq and Afghanistan; after responding to the Army, the SDO took no action and did not require a compliance agreement.
- Secured corrective action in a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest of acquisition for Afghan National Army.
- Advise multiple U.S. contractors on Status of Forces Agreements, application of host nation law, and the unique requirements that apply to contractor employees accompanying the Armed Services overseas.
- Provide advice to joint ventures operating in Iraq on a variety of legal matters, including executive compensation issues arising from DCAA audits, travel expense questions under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), and stop-work orders.
Given the likelihood that contractors will continue to perform in Iraq and Afghanistan and may even be called on more with the draw down of troops, contractors will continue to encounter difficulties unique to operating in these challenging environments. Wiley Rein attorneys have a wealth of experience to help contractors address and resolve these issues.
ISSUE: WINTER 2014