Earlier this month, my colleague, Michael Payne, and I attended Israel Industry Day sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”) and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (“MOD”) in New York City. The purpose of the program was to present the Israel Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Construction Program and to introduce American and Israeli construction contractors and A/E firms to the upcoming construction opportunities in Israel. Information was provided on the general scope of USACE design build and design bid build projects within Israel; typical infrastructure and facilities being procured; potential repair, maintenance, and construction opportunities to support MOD facilities in Israel; as well as information on the solicitation and proposal process and various legal issues that apply to the Projects. The presentations provided by the USACE  from the event can be accessed on the Fed.Biz.Opps.Gov website. The projects are funded by the Foreign Military Finance program. Currently the Israel FMS Construction Program has $450,000,000 in on-going construction projects and $80,000,000 in Pre-award actions, and it is projected that hundreds of millions of dollars in military construction will be undertaken by the Corps in the near future, with significant expenditures in the next year.

While many contracts will be solicited as Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (“MATOC”), others will be solicited as stand-alone projects (designated as “C” Contracts) that will be solicited through individual Requests for Proposals. While the current MATOC is closed to those not in the MATOC pool, the C-Contracts will be available to otherwise qualified contractors. An important requirement of the program is that all of the contracts must be awarded to American companies, and those companies will generally be expected to perform at least 25% of the work with their own forces. That 25% does not necessarily involve field labor, and may be made up of activities associated with construction management. The idea is to ensure that American companies benefit financially from the program and that they remain responsible for project completion. The Corps is understandably wary of companies that serve only as “brokers,” and expects the American contractors to be fully engaged in the performance of the projects.

Since most American companies will not want to incur the expense of sending their own labor forces to Israel, teaming arrangements with Israeli subcontractors will be vital. Fortunately, there are a number of very capable Israeli construction contractors. There is a second Israel Industry Day in Tel Aviv, Israel, scheduled for December 4, 2017. It is expected that many Israeli subcontractors interested in teaming with US contractors will attend.

Given that there are many planned projects, and only a few US contractors operating in Israel, the Corps is interested in generating more participation by American firms and accordingly, there are many opportunities for contractors interested in working in Israel. If you are interested in learning more about this program and the opportunities for American construction contractors, please contact us. We can put you in touch with both American and Israeli companies, as well as the knowledgeable people in the Corps of Engineers. The program is administered by the Europe District of the Corps located in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Robert G. Ruggieri is a senior associate in the Firm’s Federal Contracting GroupHe practices law in the areas of government contracts, procurement, and construction and has significant experience assisting small businesses with teaming and joint venture agreements.

Michael H. Payne is Chair of the Firm’s Federal Contracting Group and, together with other experienced members of the group, frequently advises contractors on federal contracting matters including bid protests, claims and appeals, procurement issues, small business issues, and dispute resolution.

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Photo of Robert Ruggieri Robert Ruggieri

Robert G. Ruggieri focuses his practice in the areas of government contracts, procurement, and construction. His clients, which include prime contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, routinely seek his advice in protesting government procurement decisions, size and NAICS code protests, interpreting the Federal Acquisition Regulation…

Robert G. Ruggieri focuses his practice in the areas of government contracts, procurement, and construction. His clients, which include prime contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, routinely seek his advice in protesting government procurement decisions, size and NAICS code protests, interpreting the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), preparing Requests for Equitable Adjustment (REAs), prosecuting claims under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA), and responding to government investigations, suspensions, and debarment proceedings.

Bob also assists small businesses in federal contracting with teaming and joint venture agreements, federal business ethics compliance, SBA 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, WOSB & EDWOSB, WBE/MBE/DBE certifications and appeals, and federal government mentor-protégé agreements.

Bob has enjoyed considerable success for clients prosecuting and defending bid protests at the Government Accountability Office and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Similarly, Bob has successfully litigated contract disputes throughout the country in federal and state forums. He regularly handles a wide variety of complex construction claims, including claims relating to delays, inefficiency, differing site conditions, defective plans and specifications, acceleration, and lost productivity. Types of projects he has handled over the years include marine construction, dredging projects, bridges, roads, environmental cleanups, power plants, municipal convention centers, office buildings, residential complexes, wastewater treatment plants, and schools.

Notwithstanding his extensive litigation experience, Bob recognizes the benefits of resolving contract disputes at an early stage through negotiated settlements or alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, such as mediation, before the onset of extensive and costly discovery efforts.

Bob is a contributor to the firm’s Federal Construction Contracting Blog, and he previously served as associate editor of the Construction Law Now blog.

Photo of Michael H. Payne Michael H. Payne

As Chair of the firm’s growing Government Contracting Group, Michael H. Payne represents contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers on a wide range of federal contracting issues, including the interpretation of solicitation and contract provisions, the filing of bid protests, resolution of disputes, and the…

As Chair of the firm’s growing Government Contracting Group, Michael H. Payne represents contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers on a wide range of federal contracting issues, including the interpretation of solicitation and contract provisions, the filing of bid protests, resolution of disputes, and the preparation of contract claims and the litigation of appeals. Michael has vast experience in federal government contracting, stemming from his time as Chief Trial Attorney for the North Atlantic Division of the Army Corps of Engineers, and is recognized in the federal construction contracting industry as an attorney who enjoys a good working relationship with government agencies.

Michael’s high success rate in settling cases prior to litigation has earned him clients that rely on his advice in the long term. As a trusted advisor to his clients, he is known for his responsiveness and is not afraid to be straightforward about the realities of pursuing a case.

Michael is aggressive when called for and approaches each case analytically and develops strategies for his clients’ best long-term results. He thinks outside the box and frequently develops arguments in approaches that facilitate the resolution of disputes without litigation.

With in-depth knowledge of military and civil works construction, Michael represents clients before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States Court of Federal Claims, and a number of Federal District and Appellate Courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Throughout his career, he has enjoyed a strong relationship with the dredging industry, representing many dredging contractors nationwide.

Known in the legal community as a techie, Michael always uses the latest technology to practice law more efficiently. He regularly teaches other attorneys at the firm and local bar associations how they can use devices such as iPads to enhance their practices. Michael started the Federal Construction Contracting Blog, the first blog focused on federal construction contracting,  which is still a go-to resource for the industry.