|AECOM filed this Form 10-Q on 02/06/2019|
· changes in regulatory practices, tariffs and taxes, such as Brexit;
· potential non-compliance with a wide variety of laws and regulations, including anti-corruption, export control and anti-boycott laws and similar non-U.S. laws and regulations;
· changes in labor conditions;
· logistical and communication challenges; and
· currency exchange rate fluctuations, devaluations and other conversion restrictions.
Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.
In addition, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties and restricted business with Qatar by closing off access to that country with an air, sea and land traffic embargo. During the economic embargo, products cannot be shipped directly to Qatar from the UAE, Saudi Arabia or Bahrain and financial services may be limited. Our Qatarian business is a significant part of our Middle East operations with approximately several hundred employees. The economic embargo may make it difficult to complete ongoing Qatarian projects and could reduce future demand for our services.
We operate in many different jurisdictions and we could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-corruption laws.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and similar worldwide anti-corruption laws, including the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010, generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our internal policies mandate compliance with these anti-corruption laws, including the requirements to maintain accurate information and internal controls which may fall within the purview of the FCPA, its books and records provisions or its anti-bribery provisions. We operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree; and, in some circumstances, strict compliance with anti-corruption laws may conflict with local customs and practices. Despite our training and compliance programs, we cannot assure that our internal control policies and procedures always will protect us from reckless or criminal acts committed by our employees or agents. Our continued expansion outside the U.S., including in developing countries, could increase the risk of such violations in the future. In addition, from time to time, government investigations of corruption in construction-related industries affect us and our peers. Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could disrupt our business and result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
We work in international locations where there are high security risks, which could result in harm to our employees and contractors or material costs to us.
Some of our services are performed in high-risk locations, such as the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia, where the country or location is suffering from political, social or economic problems, or war or civil unrest. In those locations where we have employees or operations, we may incur material costs to maintain the safety of our personnel. Despite these precautions, the safety of our personnel in these locations may continue to be at risk. Acts of terrorism and threats of armed conflicts in or around various areas in which we operate could limit or disrupt markets and our operations, including disruptions resulting from the evacuation of personnel, cancellation of contracts, or the loss of key employees, contractors or assets.
Many of our project sites are inherently dangerous workplaces. Failure to maintain safe work sites and equipment could result in environmental disasters, employee deaths or injuries, reduced profitability, the loss of projects or clients and possible exposure to litigation.
Our project sites often put our employees and others in close proximity with mechanized equipment, moving vehicles, chemical and manufacturing processes, and highly regulated materials. On some project sites, we may be responsible for safety and, accordingly, we have an obligation to implement effective safety procedures. If we fail to implement these procedures or if the procedures we implement are ineffective, we may suffer the loss of or injury to our employees, as well as expose ourselves to possible litigation. As a result, our failure to maintain adequate safety standards and equipment could result in reduced profitability or the loss of projects or clients, and could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Cybersecurity threats and information technology systems outages could adversely harm our business.
We develop, install and maintain information technology systems for our clients and employees. We may experience errors, outages, or delays of service in our information technology systems, which could significantly disrupt our operations, impact our clients and employees, damage our reputation, and result in litigation and regulatory fines or penalties. Client contracts for the performance of information technology services, primarily with the federal government, as well as various privacy and securities laws pertaining to client and employee usage, require us to manage and protect sensitive and proprietary information. For example, the Europeans Union General Data Protection Regulation, which became effective in May 2018, extends the scope of the European Union data protection laws to all companies processing data of European Union residents, regardless of the companys location.