IAN T. GRAHAM
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL COUNSEL & SECRETARY
BAE SYSTEMS, INC.
Ian T. Graham is Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of BAE Systems, Inc., a leading global defense and security company. Appointed to this role in June 2010, he is responsible for all legal matters associated with BAE Systems, Inc. and its businesses, which collectively employ more than 32,000 employees (28,800 in the U.S.), with major operations in 38 states, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Israel and generated 2015revenues of $10.4 billion. He also is responsible for the company’s contracts, security, ethics, compliance and export control functions. Additionally, he serves on the BAE Systems, Inc. Board of Directors.
ExecutiveBiz: What legal barriers do you see as ones that can be changed to facilitate more collaboration between contractors and the government?
Ian T. Graham: The entire defense community has taken extraordinary steps over recent years to adapt to declining budgets – not only in the face of rising threats, but in a time when the world remains very dangerous. At the same time, industry has faced an unprecedented increase in regulatory standards and controls, many of which are unrelated to cost-effectively delivering the best possible solutions to the warfighter.
While undoubtedly well-intended, in the aggregate, the increasing regulatory burdens have fostered a “guilty until proven innocent” culture of enforcement/audit in select areas of the government. More significantly, they impose hefty compliance costs and business risks on industry, most of which are ultimately born by the customer in the form of higher rates and prices.
Where government (both as regulator and customer) and industry pro-actively collaborate to narrowly address the core regulatory objectives, it is possible to achieve tailored solutions that are less expensive to implement with more effective outcomes. There have been a few recent (small) examples of such collaboration bearing fruit. Encouraging more constructive engagement on a broader basis could lead to lowering legal barriers, reducing unproductive compliance costs, improving programmatic risk management, and enhancing the delivery of mission-critical products and services.