The Department of Homeland Security and the promulgation of laws and regulations related to homeland security have a major impact on businesses, state and local governments, universities and other research institutions in the United States. These changes are affecting all sectors of our economy on a wide range of issues. Affected sectors include:
- Banking and finance
- Chemical industry
- Defense industrial base
- Information and telecommunications
- Tourism and recreation
- Transportation and shipping
Possible government intervention includes imposition of new reporting obligations, restrictions on hiring, increasing industry product standards, adding security compliance requirements and increased scrutiny of information once considered private. Even absent further government action, public companies and institutions are required to conduct compliance reviews and certify compliance under Sarbanes-Oxley, including consideration of security vulnerabilities. All entities - public and private - are also increasingly vulnerable to tort liability for failing to address known security threats. Without undertaking risk mitigation strategies, these potential liabilities could easily cripple or destroy the financial well-being of an entity should an act of terrorism occur.
In addition, changes to procurement rules, combined with vast opportunities for federal, state and local government contracts and grants, also are substantially altering the manner in which the government conducts its business.
MLA has been active in homeland security initiatives from the beginning. We have provided leadership in legislative proceedings, consultations with security agencies and the White House and spoken at numerous conferences. Our Homeland Security team combines expertise in government procurement and defense issues, public policy and regulatory affairs, international trade, compliance programs, product liability and risk mitigation, insurance, human resources issues and other matters affecting business operations.
Providing Leadership and Guidance
As the largest and most experienced global government procurement practice, MLA has already made its mark in homeland security initiatives. We have provided thought leadership on homeland security issues in legislative proceedings on Capitol Hill, consultations with security agencies and the White House, and at numerous industry seminars and conferences. Our efforts on behalf of clients in both commercial and lobbying matters set the standard in the homeland security arena.
In addition to monitoring security requirements and federal standards related to homeland security, we have worked, and continue to work with clients to:
- Implement the protections provided by the SAFETY Act for all providers of anti-terrorism technology.
- Create protections for the biodefense industry through implementation of Project BioShield.
- Identify and pursue business opportunities, both with solicited and unsolicited proposals to federal, state and local government agencies.
- Establish policies, procedures and programs to ensure compliance with new laws and regulations, such as the USA PATRIOT Act.
- Audit business practices, including risk management and hiring and security procedures, to address liabilities associated with homeland security requirements.
- Review contracts for product liability risk/mitigation plans, including maximization of federal indemnification.
- Shape the policies and regulations affecting homeland security.
- Establish internal procedures to protect clients against the statutory and regulatory homeland security requirements.
- Represent clients in defense of allegations of violation of homeland security requirements.
Procurement and Contracting
- Brokered sales of breakthrough Anthrax therapeutic in sales to National Strategic Stockpile.
- Negotiated sole-source awards for supplier of SARS vaccine.
- Negotiated subcontract to assemble, store and distribute vaccine kits under prime contract with Centers for Disease Control.
- Counseled a major bank on all phases of its contract for the federal-wide credit card services program, including a pilot program for an agency whose security concerns were heightened because of the nature of the agency’s mission.
- Developed a successful strategy for large shipping company to obtain a contractual vehicle to provide global transportation logistics services to the U.S. military in support of the war on terrorism.
- Involved force majeure contract clauses on behalf of clients, as a result of the attacks of September 11th.
- Led the drafting and lobbying effort for the SAFETY Act, a significant provision of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which codifies the government contractor defense for companies that sell anti-terror products to federal, state and local governments and commercial markets.
- Led the drafting and lobbying effort for the Project BioShield Act of 2004, which ensures the government’s ability to purchase and stockpile critical biodefense countermeasures.
- Arranged for and represented large defense contractors in meetings with the Department of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security personnel of the Department of Defense, the Transportation Security Agency, the Navy, the Army and GSA.
- Managed a significant lobbying effort to raise the profile of a bio-defense therapeutic provider on Capitol Hill, at the White House and within the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Defense.
- Provided liaison with relevant personnel in the White House and at HHS/CDC for smallpox vaccine procurement.
- Assisted major transportation carrier in preparing company officials to testify before the Congress on security coordination measures at strategic seaports and inter-modal transportation networks to protect military cargo during mobilization efforts.
- Provide executive leadership and government affairs counseling to a key international business council concerned with customs, immigration and other border issues, including providing representation before Congress and the Bush Administration.
- Established PATRIOT Act compliance program for a large travel agency and an online travel transaction processor and technology solutions provider.
- Assisted clients in addressing new compliance issues for the emerging biodefense industry.
- Developed corporate policy positions regarding federal security requirements for inter-modal transportation.
Risk Mitigation and Management
- Developed a comprehensive product liability prevention program for anti-terror products manufactured by several large defense contractors.
- Represented clients before EPA, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to stop the distribution of critical information about the dangers of certain pesticides by the government over the internet.
- Obtained contractual protection against increased costs resulting from future changes in transportation security requirements.
- Analyzed legal issues in developing a system to profile airline passengers and calculate a composite risk for each flight.
- Advised major U.S. research university in analyzing and responding to both proposed and implemented new procedures dealing with foreign students from suspect countries having access to sensitive research and development projects.
- Represented clients who, faced with increased scrutiny as a result of the September 11th attacks, sought permission to enter or stay in the U.S.
- Advised companies that utilize and/or market technologies and products that are controlled by the U.S. Government either as “defense articles” or “dual use commodities.”
- Evaluated biometric detection device related to airport security.
- Evaluated licensing agreement related to biometric security identifiers.