Surety Bond Quarterly - Winter 2015 - (Page 8)

From the CEO Never forget your latin: Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat For those who never had the opportunity to learn Latin or to attend law school (you may have been fortunate in both cases), the Latin maxim ignorantia juris non excusat can be translated to "ignorance of the law excuses not." Code-based legal systems may use the Latin phrase ignorantia iuris nocet, which translates to "not knowing the law is harmful." I am sure that you are familiar with this legal principle or maxim. Perhaps you have received a traffic citation or other legal violation that has brought the meaning of the maxim to your personal experience. This principle is very much alive today and seems to resound with increasing significance in the experiences of those pursuing public construction contracts and of those supporting them. Public construction procurement and the legal compliance requirements surrounding such procurements have grown increasingly numerous and complex over the last several decades. Nonetheless, under our legal system, everyone is imputed with knowledge of the laws surrounding public procurements. If you fail fully to comprehend that the federal government has set specific compliance expectations of its contractors, you may head down an inadvertent path that could place your ability to work with the government in the future and, in turn, the viability of your company in jeopardy. And ignorance is no excuse, even if the laws are conflicting, confusing, or unclear. What to do? The antithesis of ignorance is knowledge. Though a Herculean task, being aware of and educated on the myriad and changing laws and requirements is a must. Read, read, and read. Find knowledgeable attorneys who can acquaint you with changes in the procurement landscape and can answer your questions. Learn from your construction clients as to what they are facing and why, and help them connect with the proper professionals to analyze their challenges, so they undertake the right actions and maintain compliance. A team approach to spot potential issues definitely is required, 8 surety BoNd Quarterly | WINTER 2015 and your clients will, no doubt, appreciate the extra set of watchful eyes. Part of this issue of Surety Bond Quarterly is devoted to making you more aware of your clients' legal and compliance challenges in the public procurement arena. Barron Avery, an attorney in the Washington, DC, office of the law firm of BakerHostetler, provides an introduction to complying with the many federal construction requirements in today's federal procurement marketplace. This is the first in a series of articles on this critical topic. Ernest Brown with the law firm of Smith, Curries & Hancock in the San Francisco and Los Angeles, California offices informs us of the threats posed to sureties by contractors failing to maintain proper licensure or of pursuing work without a license. And, in the public-private partnership context, Todd Regan of the Hartford, Connecticut office of the law firm of Robinson & Cole, LLP acquaints us with some of the unique risks faced by P3 contractors and by the sureties providing them surety credit. Increasing your knowledge can pay significant dividends in mitigating the possibility of future problems, but preparedness for the occurrence of problems also must play a role. It comes as no surprise to you that insurance is just for that purpose. The occurrence of business fraud has been a story of late in many news reports. Any business, including construction businesses, can be a victim, even from their own employees (actually, the most likely source). Internal fraud leads to other problems, including compliance problems on public contracts. This issue of Surety Bond Quarterly contains an article from accountant Jeremy Clopton of the accounting firm of BKD that explores why and how construction firms need to be vigilant against incidences of internal fraud and the products available, commercial crime policies and fidelity bonds, which exist to help address the damage done by such fraud. This is an insightful and informative article. Now that I have laid out the critical information in this issue, do you have an excuse for not reading it coverto-cover? Ignorance is not bliss, as they say. Warm wishes, Mark McCallum NASBP CEo

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Winter 2015

NASBP Upcoming Meetings & Events
2015-2016 Executive Committee
From the CEO - Never Forget Your Latin: Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat
Practical Insights: What You Need to Know - Unlicensed Contractors A Threat to Their Sureties
Hot Topics in Federal Government Contract Compliance
Fraud Schemes and Related Controls in the Construction Industry
Unravelling the Mystery of Court Bonds
NASBP Attorney Advisory Council Participates in NASBP Regional Meetings
Public-Private Partnership Projects
Mining the Value of the NASBP Member Network
Applied Education
Index to Advertisers

Surety Bond Quarterly - Winter 2015