GENERAL COUNSEL AND CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER
Arnold Morse is CNSI’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. He comes to CNSI from CACI International Inc, where he served in a number of positions in contracts, subcontracts and legal during a 20+ year career, culminating in his role as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. He held this position for 8+ years during CACI’s growth from $1B to $3.5B in revenue, while directing a 10 person legal department. He also served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of The Orkand Corporation from 2001 – 2004, prior to its sale to The Harris Corporation. Arnold earned his undergraduate degree at Union College in Schenectady, NY, and his JD at Boston College Law School.
ExecutiveBiz: What legal barriers do you see as ones that can be changed to facilitate more collaboration between contractors and the government?
Arnold Morse: A public-private partnership (P3) is not the traditional contracting activity forming a buyer/seller relationship between the government and a private company. With traditional contracting, the emphasis is on managing the contract, including adherence to the scope of work and schedules, while also meeting quality standards. With P3s, the emphasis is on managing the relationship between the parties. In order to be successful, it must be an alliance between government and a private company, a true partnership, with each side sharing in both the risks and the rewards.
The first step in removing the legal barriers to delivering a service or facility in response to a government need through a P3 is to ensure that no statute, ordinance, regulation, policy or collective bargaining agreement prohibits or creates a significant obstacle to the P3 initiative in question. A statute expressly authorizing P3s provides the best legal framework for moving forward.
Assuming no legal barrier exists, the parties then need to address the politics of entering into a P3, including implementing a plan to effectively communicate the benefits of the partnership to the stakeholders. The role of public opinion can influence the outcome of a public-private partnership initiative, making it critical to engage politically, conduct stakeholder analysis and design and implement a communications plan. For example, if implementing the P3 will displace a significant number of public sector employees, then including and communicating a plan to offer employment to such workers or having the government commit to retrain and reassign affected career public employees to other positions in the government will go a long way toward getting the necessary support to approve the P3 initiative.