Quiver Quantitative

Risk Factors Dashboard

Once a year, publicly traded companies issue a comprehensive report of their business, called a 10-K. A component mandated in the 10-K is the ‘Risk Factors’ section, where companies disclose any major potential risks that they may face. This dashboard highlights all major changes and additions in new 10K reports, allowing investors to quickly identify new potential risks and opportunities.

Risk Factors - TTEK

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Item 1A. Risk Factors
We operate in a changing environment that involves numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could materially adversely affect our operations. Set forth below and elsewhere in this report and in other documents we file with the SEC are descriptions of the risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results contemplated by the forward-looking statements contained in this report. Additional risks we do not yet know of or that we currently think are immaterial may also affect our business operations. If any of the events or circumstances described in the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Business and Operations Risk Factors
Our results of operations could be adversely affected by health outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
A significant outbreak, epidemic or pandemic of contagious diseases in any geographic area in which we operate could result in a health crisis adversely affecting the economies, financial markets and overall demand for our services in such areas. In addition, any preventative or protective actions that governments implement or that we take in response to a health crisis, such as travel restrictions, quarantines, or site closures, may interfere with the ability of our employees and vendors to perform their responsibilities. Such results could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Such defaults could materially adversely impact our revenues and our results of operations.
The continued global COVID-19 pandemic has created significant volatility, uncertainty and economic disruption. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to accurately predict, including: the duration and scope of the pandemic; governmental, business and individuals’ actions, including vaccination requirements, that have been and continue to be taken in response to the pandemic; the impact of the pandemic on economic activity and actions taken in response; the effect on our clients’ demand for our services; our ability to provide our services; the ability of our clients to pay for our services or their need to seek reductions of our fees; any closures of our and our clients’ offices and facilities; and the need for enhanced health and hygiene requirements or social distancing or other measures in attempts to counteract future outbreaks in our offices and facilities. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to accurately predict, including: the duration and scope of the pandemic; governmental, business and individuals’ actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to the pandemic; the impact of the pandemic on economic activity and actions taken in response; the effect on our clients’ demand for our services; our ability to provide our services, including as a result of more severe or prolonged travel restrictions and people working from home; the ability of our clients to pay for our services or their need to seek reductions of our fees; any closures of our and our clients’ offices and facilities; and the need for enhanced health and hygiene requirements or social distancing or other measures in attempts to counteract future outbreaks in our offices and facilities. Clients may also slow down decision-making, delay planned work or seek to terminate existing agreements. In addition, while governments around the world have enacted emergency relief programs designed to combat the economic impact of the pandemic, the long-term effect of such spending is uncertain and could result in future budgetary restrictions for our government clients. Any of these events could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Continuing worldwide political, social and economic uncertainties may adversely affect our revenue and profitability.
The last several years have been periodically marked by political, social and economic concerns, including decreased consumer confidence, the lingering effects of international conflicts, energy costs and inflation. Although certain indices and economic data have shown signs of stabilization in the United States and certain global markets, there can be no assurance that these improvements will be broad-based or sustainable. This instability can make it extremely difficult for our clients, our vendors and us to accurately forecast and plan future business activities, and could cause constrained spending on our services, delays and a lengthening of our business development efforts, the demand for more favorable pricing or other terms, and/or difficulty in collection of our accounts receivable. Our government clients may face budget deficits that prohibit them from funding proposed and existing projects. Further, ongoing economic instability in the global markets could limit our ability to access the capital markets at a time when we would like, or need, to raise capital, which could have an impact on our ability to react to changing business conditions or new opportunities. If economic conditions remain uncertain or weaken, or government spending is reduced, our revenue and profitability could be adversely affected.
Changes in tax laws could increase our tax rate and materially affect our results of operations.
We are subject to tax laws in the United States and numerous foreign jurisdictions. The incoming U.S. presidential administration has called for changes to fiscal and tax policies, which may include comprehensive tax reform. In addition, many international legislative and regulatory bodies have proposed and/or enacted legislation that could significantly impact how U.S. multinational corporations are taxed on foreign earnings. Many of these proposed and enacted changes to the taxation of our activities could increase our effective tax rate and harm our results of operations.
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Demand for our services is cyclical and vulnerable to economic downturns. If economic growth slows, government fiscal conditions worsen, or client spending declines further, then our revenue, profits and financial condition may deteriorate.
Demand for our services is cyclical, and vulnerable to economic downturns and reductions in government and private industry spending. Such downturns or reductions may result in clients delaying, curtailing or canceling proposed and existing projects. Our business traditionally lags the overall recovery in the economy; therefore, our business may not recover immediately when the economy improves. If economic growth slows, government fiscal conditions worsen, or client spending declines, then our revenue, profits and overall financial condition may deteriorate. Our government clients may face budget deficits that prohibit them from funding new or existing projects. In addition, our existing and potential clients may either postpone entering into new contracts or request price concessions. Difficult financing and economic conditions may cause some of our clients to demand better pricing terms or delay payments for services we perform, thereby increasing the average number of days our receivables are outstanding, and the potential of increased credit losses of uncollectible invoices. Further, these conditions may result in the inability of some of our clients to pay us for services that we have already performed. If we are not able to reduce our costs quickly enough to respond to the revenue decline from these clients, our operating results may be adversely affected. Accordingly, these factors affect our ability to forecast our future revenue and earnings from business areas that may be adversely impacted by market conditions.
Our international operations expose us to legal, political, and economic risks in different countries as well as currency exchange rate fluctuations that could harm our business and financial results.
In fiscal 2021, we generated 29.8% of our revenue from our international operations, primarily in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and from international clients for work that is performed by our domestic operations. International business is subject to a variety of risks, including:
imposition of governmental controls and changes in laws, regulations, or policies;
lack of developed legal systems to enforce contractual rights;
greater risk of uncollectible accounts and longer collection cycles;
currency exchange rate fluctuations, devaluations, and other conversion restrictions;
uncertain and changing tax rules, regulations, and rates;
the potential for civil unrest, acts of terrorism, force majeure, war or other armed conflict, and greater physical security risks, which may cause us to have to leave a country quickly;
logistical and communication challenges;
changes in regulatory practices, including tariffs and taxes;
changes in labor conditions;
general economic, political, and financial conditions in foreign markets; and
exposure to civil or criminal liability under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the U.K. Bribery Act, the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, the Brazilian Clean Companies Act, the anti-boycott rules, trade and export control regulations, as well as other international regulations.
For example, the Province of Quebec has adopted legislation that requires businesses and individuals seeking contracts with governmental bodies be certified by a Quebec regulatory authority for contracts over a specified size. Our failure to maintain certification could adversely affect our business.
International risks and violations of international regulations may significantly reduce our revenue and profits, and subject us to criminal or civil enforcement actions, including fines, suspensions, or disqualification from future U.S. federal procurement contracting. Although we have policies and procedures to monitor legal and regulatory compliance, our employees, subcontractors, and agents could take actions that violate these requirements. As a result, our international risk exposure may be more or less than the percentage of revenue attributed to our international operations.
The United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union could have an adverse effect on our business and financial results.
In March 2017, the United Kingdom government initiated a process to withdraw from the European Union ("Brexit") and began negotiating the terms of the separation. Brexit has created substantial economic and political uncertainty and volatility in currency exchange rates, and the terms of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union remain uncertain. The uncertainty created by Brexit may cause our customers to closely monitor their costs and reduce demand for our services and may ultimately result in new legal regulatory and cost challenges for our United Kingdom and global operations. Any of these events could adversely affect our United Kingdom, European and overall business and financial results.
We derive a substantial amount of our revenue from U.S. federal, state and local government agencies, and any disruption in government funding or in our relationship with those agencies could adversely affect our business.
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In fiscal 2021, we generated 50.3% of our revenue from contracts with U.S. federal, and state and local government agencies. A significant amount of this revenue is derived under multi-year contracts, many of which are appropriated on an annual basis. As a result, at the beginning of a project, the related contract may be only partially funded, and additional funding is normally committed only as appropriations are made in each subsequent year. These appropriations, and the timing of payment of appropriated amounts, may be influenced by numerous factors as noted below. Our backlog includes only the projects that have funding appropriated.
The demand for our U.S. government-related services is generally driven by the level of government program funding. Accordingly, the success and further development of our business depends, in large part, upon the continued funding of these U.S. government programs, and upon our ability to obtain contracts and perform well under these programs. A significant reduction in federal government spending, the absence of a bipartisan agreement on the federal government budget, a partial or full federal government shutdown, or a change in budgetary priorities could reduce demand for our services, cancel or delay federal projects, result in the closure of federal facilities and significant personnel reductions, and have a material and adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
There are several additional factors that could materially affect our U.S. government contracting business, which could cause U.S. government agencies to delay or cancel programs, to reduce their orders under existing contracts, to exercise their rights to terminate contracts or not to exercise contract options for renewals or extensions. Such factors, which include the following, could have a material adverse effect on our revenue or the timing of contract payments from U.S. government agencies:
the failure of the U.S. government to complete its budget and appropriations process before its fiscal year-end;
changes in and delays or cancellations of government programs, procurements, requirements or appropriations;
budget constraints or policy changes resulting in delay or curtailment of expenditures related to the services we provide;
re-competes of government contracts;
the timing and amount of tax revenue received by federal, state and local governments, and the overall level of government expenditures;
curtailment in the use of government contracting firms;
delays associated with insufficient numbers of government staff to oversee contracts;
the increasing preference by government agencies for contracting with small and disadvantaged businesses;
competing political priorities and changes in the political climate regarding the funding or operation of the services we provide;
the adoption of new laws or regulations affecting our contracting relationships with the federal, state or local governments;
unsatisfactory performance on government contracts by us or one of our subcontractors, negative government audits or other events that may impair our relationship with federal, state or local governments;
a dispute with or improper activity by any of our subcontractors; and
general economic or political conditions.
Our inability to win or renew U.S. government contracts during regulated procurement processes could harm our operations and significantly reduce or eliminate our profits.
U.S. government contracts are awarded through a regulated procurement process. The U.S. federal government has increasingly relied upon multi-year contracts with pre-established terms and conditions, such as indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (“IDIQ”) contracts, which generally require those contractors who have previously been awarded the IDIQ to engage in an additional competitive bidding process before a task order is issued. As a result, new work awards tend to be smaller and of shorter duration, since the orders represent individual tasks rather than large, programmatic assignments. In addition, we believe that there has been an increase in the award of federal contracts based on a low-price, technically acceptable criteria emphasizing price over qualitative factors, such as past performance. As a result, pricing pressure may reduce our profit margins on future federal contracts. The increased competition and pricing pressure, in turn, may require us to make sustained efforts to reduce costs in order to realize revenue, and profits under government contracts. If we are not successful in reducing the amount of costs we incur, our profitability on government contracts will be negatively impacted. Moreover, even if we are qualified to work on a government contract, we may not be awarded the contract because of existing government policies designed to protect small businesses and under-represented minority contractors. Our inability to win or renew government contracts during regulated procurement processes could harm our operations and significantly reduce or eliminate our profits.
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Each year, client funding for some of our U.S. government contracts may rely on government appropriations or public-supported financing. If adequate public funding is delayed or is not available, then our profits and revenue could decline.
Each year, client funding for some of our U.S. government contracts may directly or indirectly rely on government appropriations or public-supported financing. Legislatures may appropriate funds for a given project on a year-by-year basis, even though the project may take more than one year to perform. In addition, public-supported financing such as U.S. state and local municipal bonds may be only partially raised to support existing projects. Similarly, an economic downturn may make it more difficult for U.S. state and local governments to fund projects. In addition to the state of the economy and competing political priorities, public funds and the timing of payment of these funds may be influenced by, among other things, curtailments in the use of government contracting firms, increases in raw material costs, delays associated with insufficient numbers of government staff to oversee contracts, budget constraints, the timing and amount of tax receipts, and the overall level of government expenditures. If adequate public funding is not available or is delayed, then our profits and revenue could decline.
Our U.S. federal government contracts may give government agencies the right to modify, delay, curtail, renegotiate, or terminate existing contracts at their convenience at any time prior to their completion, which may result in a decline in our profits and revenue.
U.S. federal government projects in which we participate as a contractor or subcontractor may extend for several years. Generally, government contracts include the right to modify, delay, curtail, renegotiate, or terminate contracts and subcontracts at the government’s convenience any time prior to their completion. Any decision by a U.S. federal government client to modify, delay, curtail, renegotiate, or terminate our contracts at their convenience may result in a decline in our profits and revenue.
As a U.S. government contractor, we must comply with various procurement laws and regulations and are subject to regular government audits; a violation of any of these laws and regulations or the failure to pass a government audit could result in sanctions, contract termination, forfeiture of profit, harm to our reputation or loss of our status as an eligible government contractor and could reduce our profits and revenue.
We must comply with and are affected by U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign laws and regulations relating to the formation, administration and performance of government contracts. For example, we must comply with FAR, the Truth in Negotiations Act, CAS, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Services Contract Act, and the DoD security regulations, as well as many other rules and regulations. In addition, we must comply with other government regulations related to employment practices, environmental protection, health and safety, tax, accounting, and anti-fraud measures, as well as many other regulations in order to maintain our government contractor status. These laws and regulations affect how we do business with our clients and, in some instances, impose additional costs on our business operations. Although we take precautions to prevent and deter fraud, misconduct, and non-compliance, we face the risk that our employees or outside partners may engage in misconduct, fraud, or other improper activities. U.S. government agencies, such as the DCAA, routinely audit and investigate government contractors. These government agencies review and audit a government contractor’s performance under its contracts and cost structure, and evaluate compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards. In addition, during the course of its audits, the DCAA may question our incurred project costs. If the DCAA believes we have accounted for such costs in a manner inconsistent with the requirements for FAR or CAS, the DCAA auditor may recommend to our U.S. government corporate administrative contracting officer that such costs be disallowed. Historically, we have not experienced significant disallowed costs as a result of government audits. However, we can provide no assurance that the DCAA or other government audits will not result in material disallowances for incurred costs in the future. In addition, U.S. government contracts are subject to various other requirements relating to the formation, administration, performance, and accounting for these contracts. We may also be subject to qui tam litigation brought by private individuals on behalf of the U.S. government under the Federal Civil False Claims Act, which could include claims for treble damages. For example, as discussed elsewhere in this report, on January 14, 2019, the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office filed complaints in intervention in three qui tam actions filed against our subsidiary, Tetra Tech EC, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. U.S. government contract violations could result in the imposition of civil and criminal penalties or sanctions, contract termination, forfeiture of profit, and/or suspension of payment, any of which could make us lose our status as an eligible government contractor. We could also suffer serious harm to our reputation. Any interruption or termination of our U.S. government contractor status could reduce our profits and revenue significantly.
If we extend a significant portion of our credit to clients in a specific geographic area or industry, we may experience disproportionately high levels of collection risk and nonpayment if those clients are adversely affected by factors particular to their geographic area or industry.
Our clients include public and private entities that have been, and may continue to be, negatively impacted by the changing landscape in the global economy. While outside of the U.S. federal government no single client accounted for over
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10% of our revenue for fiscal 2021, we face collection risk as a normal part of our business where we perform services and subsequently bill our clients for such services. In the event that we have concentrated credit risk from clients in a specific geographic area or industry, continuing negative trends or a worsening in the financial condition of that specific geographic area or industry could make us susceptible to disproportionately high levels of default by those clients. Such defaults could materially adversely impact our revenues and our results of operations.
We have made and expect to continue to make acquisitions. Acquisitions could disrupt our operations and adversely impact our business and operating results. Our failure to conduct due diligence effectively, or our inability to successfully integrate acquisitions, could impede us from realizing all of the benefits of the acquisitions, which could weaken our results of operations.
A key part of our growth strategy is to acquire other companies that complement our lines of business or that broaden our technical capabilities and geographic presence. However, our ability to make acquisitions is restricted under our credit agreement. Acquisitions involve certain known and unknown risks that could cause our actual growth or operating results to differ from our expectations or the expectations of securities analysts. For example:
we may not be able to identify suitable acquisition candidates or to acquire additional companies on acceptable terms;
we are pursuing international acquisitions, which inherently pose more risk than domestic acquisitions;
we compete with others to acquire companies, which may result in decreased availability of, or increased price for, suitable acquisition candidates;
we may not be able to obtain the necessary financing, on favorable terms or at all, to finance any of our potential acquisitions;
we may ultimately fail to consummate an acquisition even if we announce that we plan to acquire a company; and
acquired companies may not perform as we expect, and we may fail to realize anticipated revenue and profits.
If we fail to conduct due diligence on our potential targets effectively, we may, for example, not identify problems at target companies, or fail to recognize incompatibilities or other obstacles to successful integration. The integration process may disrupt our business and, if implemented ineffectively, may preclude realization of the full benefits expected by us and could harm our results of operations. In addition, the overall integration of the combining companies may result in unanticipated problems, expenses, liabilities, and competitive responses, and may cause our stock price to decline. The difficulties of integrating an acquisition include, among others:
issues in integrating information, communications, and other systems;
incompatibility of logistics, marketing, and administration methods;
maintaining employee morale and retaining key employees;
integrating the business cultures of both companies;
preserving important strategic client relationships;
consolidating corporate and administrative infrastructures, and eliminating duplicative operations; and
coordinating and integrating geographically separate organizations.
In addition, even if the operations of an acquisition are integrated successfully, we may not realize the full benefits of the acquisition, including the synergies, cost savings or growth opportunities that we expect. These benefits may not be achieved within the anticipated time frame, or at all.
Further, acquisitions may cause us to:
issue common stock that would dilute our current stockholders’ ownership percentage;
use a substantial portion of our cash resources;
increase our interest expense, leverage, and debt service requirements (if we incur additional debt to fund an acquisition);
assume liabilities, including undisclosed, contingent or environmental liabilities, for which we do not have indemnification from the former owners. Further, indemnification obligations may be subject to dispute or concerns regarding the creditworthiness of the former owners;
record goodwill and non-amortizable intangible assets that are subject to impairment testing and potential impairment charges;
experience volatility in earnings due to changes in contingent consideration related to acquisition earn-out liability estimates;
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incur amortization expenses related to certain intangible assets;
lose existing or potential contracts as a result of conflict of interest issues;
incur large and immediate write-offs; or
become subject to litigation.
Finally, acquired companies that derive a significant portion of their revenue from the U.S. federal government and do not follow the same cost accounting policies and billing practices that we follow may be subject to larger cost disallowances for greater periods than we typically encounter. If we fail to determine the existence of unallowable costs and do not establish appropriate reserves at acquisition, we may be exposed to material unanticipated liabilities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
If our goodwill or intangible assets become impaired, then our profits may be significantly reduced.
Because we have historically acquired a significant number of companies, goodwill and intangible assets represent a substantial portion of our assets. As of October 3, 2021, our goodwill was $1.1 billion and other intangible assets were $38.0 million. We are required to perform a goodwill impairment test for potential impairment at least on an annual basis. We also assess the recoverability of the unamortized balance of our intangible assets when indications of impairment are present based on expected future profitability and undiscounted expected cash flows and their contribution to our overall operations. The goodwill impairment test requires us to determine the fair value of our reporting units, which are the components one level below our reportable segments. In determining fair value, we make significant judgments and estimates, including assumptions about our strategic plans with regard to our operations. We also analyze current economic indicators and market valuations to help determine fair value. To the extent economic conditions that would impact the future operations of our reporting units change, our goodwill may be deemed to be impaired, and we would be required to record a non-cash charge that could result in a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations. For example, we had goodwill impairment of $15.8 million and $7.8 million in fiscal 2020 and 2019, respectively. We had no goodwill impairment in fiscal 2021.
We could be adversely affected by violations of the FCPA and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws.
The FCPA and similar anti-bribery laws generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. The U.K. Bribery Act of 2010 prohibits both domestic and international bribery, as well as bribery across both private and public sectors. In addition, an organization that “fails to prevent bribery” by anyone associated with the organization can be charged under the U.K. Bribery Act unless the organization can establish the defense of having implemented “adequate procedures” to prevent bribery. Improper payments are also prohibited under the Canadian Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act and the Brazilian Clean Companies Act. Local business practices in many countries outside the United States create a greater risk of government corruption than that found in the United States and other more developed countries. Our policies mandate compliance with anti-bribery laws, and we have established policies and procedures designed to monitor compliance with anti-bribery law requirements; however, we cannot ensure that our policies and procedures will protect us from potential reckless or criminal acts committed by individual employees or agents. If we are found to be liable for anti-bribery law violations, we could suffer from criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions that could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We could be adversely impacted if we fail to comply with domestic and international export laws.
To the extent we export technical services, data and products outside of the United States, we are subject to U.S. and international laws and regulations governing international trade and exports, including but not limited to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Export Administration Regulations, and trade sanctions against embargoed countries. A failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in civil or criminal sanctions, including the imposition of fines, the denial of export privileges, and suspension or debarment from participation in U.S. government contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
If we fail to complete a project in a timely manner, miss a required performance standard, or otherwise fail to adequately perform on a project, then we may incur a loss on that project, which may reduce or eliminate our overall profitability.
Our engagements often involve large-scale, complex projects. The quality of our performance on such projects depends in large part upon our ability to manage the relationship with our clients and our ability to effectively manage the project and deploy appropriate resources, including third-party contractors and our own personnel, in a timely manner. We may commit to a client that we will complete a project by a scheduled date. We may also commit that a project, when completed, will achieve specified performance standards. If the project is not completed by the scheduled date or fails to meet required performance standards, we may either incur significant additional costs or be held responsible for the costs incurred by the client to rectify damages due to late completion or failure to achieve the required performance standards. The uncertainty of the timing of a project can present difficulties in planning the amount of personnel needed for the project. If the project is delayed
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or canceled, we may bear the cost of an underutilized workforce that was dedicated to fulfilling the project. In addition, performance of projects can be affected by a number of factors beyond our control, including unavoidable delays from government inaction, public opposition, inability to obtain financing, weather conditions, unavailability of vendor materials, changes in the project scope of services requested by our clients, industrial accidents, environmental hazards, and labor disruptions. To the extent these events occur, the total costs of the project could exceed our estimates, and we could experience reduced profits or, in some cases, incur a loss on a project, which may reduce or eliminate our overall profitability. Further, any defects or errors, or failures to meet our clients’ expectations, could result in claims for damages against us. Failure to meet performance standards or complete performance on a timely basis could also adversely affect our reputation.
The loss of key personnel or our inability to attract and retain qualified personnel could impair our ability to provide services to our clients and otherwise conduct our business effectively.
As primarily a professional and technical services company, we are labor-intensive and, therefore, our ability to attract, retain, and expand our senior management and our professional and technical staff is an important factor in determining our future success. The market for qualified scientists and engineers is competitive and, from time to time, it may be difficult to attract and retain qualified individuals with the required expertise within the timeframe demanded by our clients. For example, some of our U.S. government contracts may require us to employ only individuals who have particular government security clearance levels. In addition, if we are unable to retain executives and other key personnel, the roles and responsibilities of those employees will need to be filled, which may require that we devote time and resources to identify, hire, and integrate new employees. The loss of the services of any of these key personnel could adversely affect our business. Our failure to attract and retain key individuals could impair our ability to provide services to our clients and conduct our business effectively.
Our revenue and growth prospects may be harmed if we or our employees are unable to obtain government granted eligibility or other qualifications we and they need to perform services for our customers.
A number of government programs require contractors to have certain kinds of government granted eligibility, such as security clearance credentials. Depending on the project, eligibility can be difficult and time-consuming to obtain. If we or our employees are unable to obtain or retain the necessary eligibility, we may not be able to win new business, and our existing customers could terminate their contracts with us or decide not to renew them. To the extent we cannot obtain or maintain the required security clearances for our employees working on a particular contract, we may not derive the revenue or profit anticipated from such contract.
Our actual business and financial results could differ from the estimates and assumptions that we use to prepare our consolidated financial statements, which may significantly reduce or eliminate our profits.
To prepare consolidated financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. ("U.S. GAAP"), management is required to make estimates and assumptions as of the date of the consolidated financial statements. These estimates and assumptions affect the reported values of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, as well as disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. For example, we typically recognize revenue over the life of a contract based on the proportion of costs incurred to date compared to the total costs estimated to be incurred for the entire project. Areas requiring significant estimates by our management include:
the application of the percentage-of-completion method of accounting and revenue recognition on contracts, change orders, and contract claims, including related unbilled accounts receivable;
unbilled accounts receivable, including amounts related to requests for equitable adjustment to contracts that provide for price redetermination, primarily with the U.S. federal government. These amounts are recorded only when they can be reliably estimated, and realization is probable;
provisions for uncollectible receivables, client claims, and recoveries of costs from subcontractors, vendors, and others;
provisions for income taxes, research and development tax credits, valuation allowances, and unrecognized tax benefits;
value of goodwill and recoverability of intangible assets;
valuations of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in connection with business combinations;
valuation of contingent earn-out liabilities recorded in connection with business combinations;
valuation of employee benefit plans;
valuation of stock-based compensation expense; and
accruals for estimated liabilities, including litigation and insurance reserves.
Our actual business and financial results could differ from those estimates, which may significantly reduce or eliminate our profits.
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Our profitability could suffer if we are not able to maintain adequate utilization of our workforce.
The cost of providing our services, including the extent to which we utilize our workforce, affects our profitability. The rate at which we utilize our workforce is affected by a number of factors, including:
our ability to transition employees from completed projects to new assignments and to hire and assimilate new employees;
our ability to forecast demand for our services and thereby maintain an appropriate headcount in each of our geographies and operating units;
our ability to engage employees in assignments during natural disasters or pandemics;
our ability to manage attrition;
our need to devote time and resources to training, business development, professional development, and other non-chargeable activities; and
our ability to match the skill sets of our employees to the needs of the marketplace.
If we over-utilize our workforce, our employees may become disengaged, which could impact employee attrition. If we under-utilize our workforce, our profit margin and profitability could suffer.
Our use of the percentage-of-completion method of revenue recognition could result in a reduction or reversal of previously recorded revenue and profits.
We account for most of our contracts on the percentage-of-completion method of revenue recognition. Generally, our use of this method results in recognition of revenue and profit ratably over the life of the contract, based on the proportion of costs incurred to date to total costs expected to be incurred for the entire project. The effects of revisions to estimated revenue and costs, including the achievement of award fees and the impact of change orders and claims, are recorded when the amounts are known and can be reasonably estimated. Such revisions could occur in any period and their effects could be material. Although we have historically made reasonably reliable estimates of the progress towards completion of long-term contracts, the uncertainties inherent in the estimating process make it possible for actual costs to vary materially from estimates, including reductions or reversals of previously recorded revenue and profit.
If we are unable to accurately estimate and control our contract costs, then we may incur losses on our contracts, which could decrease our operating margins and reduce our profits. Specifically, our fixed-price contracts could increase the unpredictability of our earnings.
It is important for us to accurately estimate and control our contract costs so that we can maintain positive operating margins and profitability. We generally enter into three principal types of contracts with our clients: fixed-price, time-and-materials and cost-plus.
The U.S. federal government and certain other clients have increased the use of fixed-priced contracts. Under fixed-price contracts, we receive a fixed price irrespective of the actual costs we incur and, consequently, we are exposed to a number of risks. We realize a profit on fixed-price contracts only if we can control our costs and prevent cost over-runs on our contracts. Fixed-price contracts require cost and scheduling estimates that are based on a number of assumptions, including those about future economic conditions, costs, and availability of labor, equipment and materials, and other exigencies. We could experience cost over-runs if these estimates are originally inaccurate as a result of errors or ambiguities in the contract specifications, or become inaccurate as a result of a change in circumstances following the submission of the estimate due to, among other things, unanticipated technical problems, difficulties in obtaining permits or approvals, changes in local laws or labor conditions, weather delays, changes in the costs of raw materials, or the inability of our vendors or subcontractors to perform. If cost overruns occur, we could experience reduced profits or, in some cases, a loss for that project. If a project is significant, or if there are one or more common issues that impact multiple projects, costs overruns could increase the unpredictability of our earnings, as well as have a material adverse impact on our business and earnings.
Under our time-and-materials contracts, we are paid for labor at negotiated hourly billing rates and paid for other expenses. Profitability on these contracts is driven by billable headcount and cost control. Many of our time-and-materials contracts are subject to maximum contract values and, accordingly, revenue relating to these contracts is recognized as if these contracts were fixed-price contracts. Under our cost-plus contracts, some of which are subject to contract ceiling amounts, we are reimbursed for allowable costs and fees, which may be fixed or performance-based. If our costs exceed the contract ceiling or are not allowable under the provisions of the contract or any applicable regulations, we may not be able to obtain reimbursement for all of the costs we incur.
Profitability on our contracts is driven by billable headcount and our ability to manage our subcontractors, vendors, and material suppliers. If we are unable to accurately estimate and manage our costs, we may incur losses on our contracts, which could decrease our operating margins and significantly reduce or eliminate our profits. Certain of our contracts require us
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to satisfy specific design, engineering, procurement, or construction milestones in order to receive payment for the work completed or equipment or supplies procured prior to achievement of the applicable milestone. As a result, under these types of arrangements, we may incur significant costs or perform significant amounts of services prior to receipt of payment. If a client determines not to proceed with the completion of the project or if the client defaults on its payment obligations, we may face difficulties in collecting payment of amounts due to us for the costs previously incurred or for the amounts previously expended to purchase equipment or supplies.
Accounting for a contract requires judgments relative to assessing the contract’s estimated risks, revenue, costs, and other technical issues. Due to the size and nature of many of our contracts, the estimation of overall risk, revenue, and cost at completion is complicated and subject to many variables. Changes in underlying assumptions, circumstances, or estimates may also adversely affect future period financial performance. If we are unable to accurately estimate the overall revenue or costs on a contract, then we may experience a lower profit or incur a loss on the contract.
Our failure to adequately recover on claims brought by us against clients for additional contract costs could have a negative impact on our liquidity and profitability.
We have brought claims against clients for additional costs exceeding the contract price or for amounts not included in the original contract price. These types of claims occur due to matters such as client-caused delays or changes from the initial project scope, both of which may result in additional cost. Often, these claims can be the subject of lengthy arbitration or litigation proceedings, and it is difficult to accurately predict when these claims will be fully resolved. When these types of events occur and unresolved claims are pending, we have used working capital in projects to cover cost overruns pending the resolution of the relevant claims. A failure to promptly recover on these types of claims could have a negative impact on our liquidity and profitability. Total accounts receivable at October 3, 2021 included approximately $11 million related to such claims.
Our failure to win new contracts and renew existing contracts with private and public sector clients could adversely affect our profitability.
Our business depends on our ability to win new contracts and renew existing contracts with private and public sector clients. Contract proposals and negotiations are complex and frequently involve a lengthy bidding and selection process, which is affected by a number of factors. These factors include market conditions, financing arrangements, and required governmental approvals. If negative market conditions arise, or if we fail to secure adequate financial arrangements or the required government approval, we may not be able to pursue certain projects, which could adversely affect our profitability.
If we are not able to successfully manage our growth strategy, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Our expected future growth presents numerous managerial, administrative, operational, and other challenges. Our ability to manage the growth of our operations will require us to continue to improve our management information systems and our other internal systems and controls. In addition, our growth will increase our need to attract, develop, motivate, and retain both our management and professional employees. The inability to effectively manage our growth or the inability of our employees to achieve anticipated performance could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our backlog is subject to cancellation, unexpected adjustments and changing economic conditions, and is an uncertain indicator of future operating results.
Our backlog at October 3, 2021 was $3.5 billion, an increase of $241.0 million, or 7.4%, compared to the end of fiscal 2020. We include in backlog only those contracts for which funding has been provided and work authorizations have been received. We cannot guarantee that the revenue projected in our backlog will be realized or, if realized, will result in profits. In addition, project cancellations or scope adjustments may occur, from time to time, with respect to contracts reflected in our backlog. For example, certain of our contracts with the U.S. federal government and other clients are terminable at the discretion of the client, with or without cause. These types of backlog reductions could adversely affect our revenue and margins. As a result of these factors, our backlog as of any particular date is an uncertain indicator of our future earnings.
Cyber security breaches of our systems and information technology could adversely impact our ability to operate.
We develop, install and maintain information technology systems for ourselves, as well as for customers. Client contracts for the performance of information technology services, as well as various privacy and securities laws, require us to manage and protect sensitive and confidential information, including federal and other government information, from disclosure. We also need to protect our own internal trade secrets and other business confidential information, as well as personal data of our employees and contractors, from disclosure. For example, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") extends the scope of the European Union data protection laws to all companies processing data of European Union residents, regardless of the company's location. In addition, the California Consumer Privacy Act ("CCPA")
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increases the penalties for data privacy incidents. The GDPR and CCPA are just examples of privacy regulations that are emerging in locations where we work.
We face the threat to our computer systems of unauthorized access, computer hackers, computer viruses, malicious code, organized cyber-attacks and other security problems and system disruptions, including possible unauthorized access to our and our clients' proprietary or classified information. We rely on industry-accepted security measures and technology to securely maintain all confidential and proprietary information on our information systems. In addition, we rely on the security of third-party service providers, vendors, and cloud services providers to protect confidential data. In the ordinary course of business, we have been targeted by malicious cyber-attacks. A user who circumvents security measures could misappropriate confidential or proprietary information, including information regarding us, our personnel and/or our clients, or cause interruptions or malfunctions in operations. As a result, we may be required to expend significant resources to protect against the threat of these system disruptions and security breaches or to alleviate problems caused by these disruptions and breaches.
We also rely in part on third-party software and information technology vendors to run our critical accounting, project management and financial information systems. We depend on our software and information technology vendors to provide long-term software and hardware support for our information systems. Our software and information technology vendors may decide to discontinue further development, integration or long-term software and hardware support for our information systems, in which case we may need to abandon one or more of our current information systems and migrate some or all of our accounting, project management and financial information to other systems, thus increasing our operational expense, as well as disrupting the management of our business operations. Any of these events could damage our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If our business partners fail to perform their contractual obligations on a project, we could be exposed to legal liability, loss of reputation and profit reduction or loss on the project.
We routinely enter into subcontracts and, occasionally, joint ventures, teaming arrangements, and other contractual arrangements so that we can jointly bid and perform on a particular project. Success under these arrangements depends in large part on whether our business partners fulfill their contractual obligations satisfactorily. In addition, when we operate through a joint venture in which we are a minority holder, we have limited control over many project decisions, including decisions related to the joint venture’s internal controls, which may not be subject to the same internal control procedures that we employ. If these unaffiliated third parties do not fulfill their contract obligations, the partnerships or joint ventures may be unable to adequately perform and deliver their contracted services. Under these circumstances, we may be obligated to pay financial penalties, provide additional services to ensure the adequate performance and delivery of the contracted services, and may be jointly and severally liable for the other’s actions or contract performance. These additional obligations could result in reduced profits and revenues or, in some cases, significant losses for us with respect to the joint venture, which could also affect our reputation in the industries we serve.
If our contractors and subcontractors fail to satisfy their obligations to us or other parties, or if we are unable to maintain these relationships, our revenue, profitability, and growth prospects could be adversely affected.
We depend on contractors and subcontractors in conducting our business. There is a risk that we may have disputes with our subcontractors arising from, among other things, the quality and timeliness of work performed by the subcontractor, client concerns about the subcontractor, or our failure to extend existing task orders or issue new task orders under a subcontract. In addition, if a subcontractor fails to deliver on a timely basis the agreed-upon supplies, fails to perform the agreed-upon services, or goes out of business, then we may be required to purchase the services or supplies from another source at a higher price, and our ability to fulfill our obligations as a prime contractor may be jeopardized. This may reduce the profit to be realized or result in a loss on a project for which the services or supplies are needed.
We also rely on relationships with other contractors when we act as their subcontractor or joint venture partner. The absence of qualified subcontractors with which we have a satisfactory relationship could adversely affect the quality of our service and our ability to perform under some of our contracts. Our future revenue and growth prospects could be adversely affected if other contractors eliminate or reduce their subcontracts or teaming arrangement relationships with us, or if a government agency terminates or reduces these other contractors’ programs, does not award them new contracts, or refuses to pay under a contract.
Our failure to meet contractual schedule or performance requirements that we have guaranteed could adversely affect our operating results.
In certain circumstances, we can incur liquidated or other damages if we do not achieve project completion by a scheduled date. If we or an entity for which we have provided a guarantee subsequently fails to complete the project as scheduled and the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved with the client, we may be responsible for cost impacts to the client resulting from any delay or the cost to complete the project. Our costs generally increase from schedule delays and/or could exceed our projections for a particular project. In addition, project performance can be affected by a number of factors beyond
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our control, including unavoidable delays from governmental inaction, public opposition, inability to obtain financing, weather conditions, unavailability of vendor materials, changes in the project scope of services requested by our clients, industrial accidents, environmental hazards, labor disruptions and other factors. As a result, material performance problems for existing and future contracts could cause actual results of operations to differ from those anticipated by us and could cause us to suffer damage to our reputation within our industry and client base.
New legal requirements could adversely affect our operating results.
Our business and results of operations could be adversely affected by the passage of climate change, defense, environmental, infrastructure and other legislation, policies and regulations. Growing concerns about climate change may result in the imposition of additional environmental regulations. For example, legislation, international protocols, regulation or other restrictions on emissions could increase the costs of projects for our clients or, in some cases, prevent a project from going forward, thereby potentially reducing the need for our services. In addition, relaxation or repeal of laws and regulations, or changes in governmental policies regarding environmental, defense, infrastructure or other industries we serve could result in a decline in demand for our services, which could in turn negatively impact our revenues. We cannot predict when or whether any of these various proposals may be enacted or what their effect will be on us or on our customers.
Changes in resource management, environmental, or infrastructure industry laws, regulations, and programs could directly or indirectly reduce the demand for our services, which could in turn negatively impact our revenue.
Some of our services are directly or indirectly impacted by changes in U.S. federal, state, local or foreign laws and regulations pertaining to the resource management, environmental, and infrastructure industries. Accordingly, a relaxation or repeal of these laws and regulations, or changes in governmental policies regarding the funding, implementation or enforcement of these programs, could result in a decline in demand for our services, which could in turn negatively impact our revenue.
Changes in capital markets could adversely affect our access to capital and negatively impact our business.
Our results could be adversely affected by an inability to access the revolving credit facility under our credit agreement. Unfavorable financial or economic conditions could impact certain lenders' willingness or ability to fund our revolving credit facility. In addition, increases in interest rates or credit spreads, volatility in financial markets or the interest rate environment, significant political or economic events, defaults of significant issuers, and other market and economic factors, may negatively impact the general level of debt issuance, the debt issuance plans of certain categories of borrowers, the types of credit-sensitive products being offered, and/or a sustained period of market decline or weakness could have a material adverse effect on us.
Restrictive covenants in our credit agreement may restrict our ability to pursue certain business strategies.
Our credit agreement limits or restricts our ability to, among other things:
incur additional indebtedness;
create liens securing debt or other encumbrances on our assets;
make loans or advances;
pay dividends or make distributions to our stockholders;
purchase or redeem our stock;
repay indebtedness that is junior to indebtedness under our credit agreement;
acquire the assets of, or merge or consolidate with, other companies; and
sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of assets.
Our credit agreement also requires that we maintain certain financial ratios, which we may not be able to achieve. The covenants may impair our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage in other favorable business activities.
Our industry is highly competitive, and we may be unable to compete effectively, which could result in reduced revenue, profitability and market share.
We are engaged in a highly competitive business. The markets we serve are highly fragmented and we compete with many regional, national and international companies. Certain of these competitors have greater financial and other resources than we do. Others are smaller and more specialized and concentrate their resources in particular areas of expertise. The extent of our competition varies according to certain markets and geographic area. In addition, the technical and professional aspects of some of our services generally do not require large upfront capital expenditures and provide limited barriers against new competitors. Our clients make competitive determinations based upon qualifications, experience, performance, reputation, technology, customer relationships and ability to provide the relevant services in a timely, safe and cost-efficient manner. This competitive environment could force us to make price concessions or otherwise reduce prices for our services. If we are unable to maintain our competitiveness and win bids for future projects, our market share, revenue, and profits will decline.
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Legal proceedings, investigations, and disputes could result in substantial monetary penalties and damages, especially if such penalties and damages exceed or are excluded from existing insurance coverage.
We engage in consulting, engineering, program management, and technical services that can result in substantial injury or damages that may expose us to legal proceedings, investigations, and disputes.We engage in consulting, engineering, program management, construction management, construction, and technical services that can result in substantial injury or damages that may expose us to legal proceedings, investigations, and disputes. For example, in the ordinary course of our business, we may be involved in legal disputes regarding personal injury claims, employee or labor disputes, professional liability claims, and general commercial disputes involving project cost overruns and liquidated damages, as well as other claims. In addition, in the ordinary course of our business, we frequently make professional judgments and recommendations about environmental and engineering conditions of project sites for our clients, and we may be deemed to be responsible for these judgments and recommendations if they are later determined to be inaccurate. Any unfavorable legal ruling against us could result in substantial monetary damages or even criminal violations. We maintain insurance coverage as part of our overall legal and risk management strategy to minimize our potential liabilities; however, insurance coverage contains exclusions and other limitations that may not cover our potential liabilities. Generally, our insurance program covers workers’ compensation and employer’s liability, general liability, automobile liability, professional errors and omissions liability, property, and contractor’s pollution liability (in addition to other policies for specific projects). Our insurance program includes deductibles or self-insured retentions for each covered claim that may increase over time. In addition, our insurance policies contain exclusions that insurance providers may use to deny or restrict coverage. Excess liability and professional liability insurance policies provide for coverage on a “claims-made” basis, covering only claims actually made and reported during the policy period currently in effect. If we sustain liabilities that exceed or that are excluded from our insurance coverage, or for which we are not insured, it could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Unavailability or cancellation of third-party insurance coverage would increase our overall risk exposure as well as disrupt the management of our business operations.
We maintain insurance coverage from third-party insurers as part of our overall risk management strategy and because some of our contracts require us to maintain specific insurance coverage limits. If any of our third-party insurers fail, suddenly cancel our coverage, or otherwise are unable to provide us with adequate insurance coverage, then our overall risk exposure and our operational expenses would increase, and the management of our business operations would be disrupted. In addition, there can be no assurance that any of our existing insurance coverage will be renewable upon the expiration of the coverage period or that future coverage will be affordable at the required limits.
Our inability to obtain adequate bonding could have a material adverse effect on our future revenue and business prospects.
Certain clients require bid bonds, and performance and payment bonds. These bonds indemnify the client should we fail to perform our obligations under a contract. If a bond is required for a certain project and we are unable to obtain an appropriate bond, we cannot pursue that project. In some instances, we are required to co-venture with a small or disadvantaged business to pursue certain government contracts. In connection with these ventures, we are sometimes required to utilize our bonding capacity to cover all of the obligations under the contract with the client. We have a bonding facility but, as is typically the case, the issuance of bonds under that facility is at the surety’s sole discretion. Moreover, bonding may be more difficult to obtain or may only be available at significant additional cost. There can be no assurance that bonds will continue to be available to us on reasonable terms. Our inability to obtain adequate bonding and, as a result, to bid on new work could have a material adverse effect on our future revenue and business prospects.
Employee, agent, or partner misconduct, or our failure to comply with anti-bribery and other laws or regulations, could harm our reputation, reduce our revenue and profits, and subject us to criminal and civil enforcement actions.
Misconduct, fraud, non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations, or other improper activities by one of our employees, agents, or partners could have a significant negative impact on our business and reputation. Such misconduct could include the failure to comply with government procurement regulations, regulations regarding the protection of classified information, regulations prohibiting bribery and other foreign corrupt practices, regulations regarding the pricing of labor and other costs in government contracts, regulations on lobbying or similar activities, regulations pertaining to the internal controls over financial reporting, environmental laws, and any other applicable laws or regulations. For example, as previously noted, the FCPA and similar anti-bribery laws in other jurisdictions generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Our policies mandate compliance with these regulations and laws, and we take precautions to prevent and detect misconduct. However, since our internal controls are subject to inherent limitations, including human error, it is possible that these controls could be intentionally circumvented or become inadequate because of changed conditions. As a result, we cannot assure that our controls will protect us from reckless or criminal acts committed by our employees or agents. Our failure to comply with applicable laws or regulations, or acts of misconduct could subject us to fines and penalties, loss of security clearances, and suspension or debarment from contracting, any or all of which could harm our reputation, reduce our revenue and profits, and subject us to criminal and civil enforcement actions.
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Our business activities may require our employees to travel to and work in countries where there are high security risks, which may result in employee death or injury, repatriation costs or other unforeseen costs.
Certain of our contracts may require our employees travel to and work in high-risk countries that are undergoing political, social, and economic upheavals resulting from war, civil unrest, criminal activity, acts of terrorism, or public health crises. For example, we currently have employees working in high security risk countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result, we risk loss of or injury to our employees and may be subject to costs related to employee death or injury, repatriation, or other unforeseen circumstances. We may choose or be forced to leave a country with little or no warning due to physical security risks.
Our failure to implement and comply with our safety program could adversely affect our operating results or financial condition.
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. Our safety program is a fundamental element of our overall approach to risk management, and the implementation of the safety program is a significant issue in our dealings with our clients. We maintain an enterprise-wide group of health and safety professionals to help ensure that the services we provide are delivered safely and in accordance with standard work processes. Unsafe job sites and office environments have the potential to increase employee turnover, increase the cost of a project to our clients, expose us to types and levels of risk that are fundamentally unacceptable, and raise our operating costs. The implementation of our safety processes and procedures are monitored by various agencies, including the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”), and rating bureaus, and may be evaluated by certain clients in cases in which safety requirements have been established in our contracts. Our failure to meet these requirements or our failure to properly implement and comply with our safety program could result in reduced profitability, the loss of projects or clients, or potential litigation, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, or financial condition.
We may be precluded from providing certain services due to conflict of interest issues.
Many of our clients are concerned about potential or actual conflicts of interest in retaining management consultants. U.S. federal government agencies have formal policies against continuing or awarding contracts that would create actual or potential conflicts of interest with other activities of a contractor. These policies may prevent us from bidding for or performing government contracts resulting from or relating to certain work we have performed. In addition, services performed for a commercial or government client may create a conflict of interest that precludes or limits our ability to obtain work from other public or private organizations. We have, on occasion, declined to bid on projects due to conflict of interest issues.
If our reports and opinions are not in compliance with professional standards and other regulations, we could be subject to monetary damages and penalties.
We issue reports and opinions to clients based on our professional engineering expertise, as well as our other professional credentials. Our reports and opinions may need to comply with professional standards, licensing requirements, securities regulations, and other laws and rules governing the performance of professional services in the jurisdiction in which the services are performed. In addition, we could be liable to third parties who use or rely upon our reports or opinions even if we are not contractually bound to those third parties. For example, if we deliver an inaccurate report or one that is not in compliance with the relevant standards, and that report is made available to a third party, we could be subject to third-party liability, resulting in monetary damages and penalties.
We may be subject to liabilities under environmental laws and regulations.
Our services are subject to numerous U.S. and international environmental protection laws and regulations that are complex and stringent. For example, we must comply with a number of U.S. federal government laws that strictly regulate the handling, removal, treatment, transportation, and disposal of toxic and hazardous substances. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”), and comparable state laws, we may be required to investigate and remediate regulated hazardous materials. CERCLA and comparable state laws typically impose strict, joint and several liabilities without regard to whether a company knew of or caused the release of hazardous substances. The liability for the entire cost of clean-up could be imposed upon any responsible party. Other principal U.S. federal environmental, health, and safety laws affecting us include, but are not limited to, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (the “Mine Act”), the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. Our business operations may also be subject to similar state and international laws relating to environmental protection. Further, past business practices at companies that we have acquired may also expose us to future unknown environmental liabilities. Liabilities related to environmental contamination or human exposure to hazardous substances, or a failure to comply with applicable regulations, could result in substantial costs to us, including clean-up costs,
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fines, civil or criminal sanctions, and third-party claims for property damage or personal injury or cessation of remediation activities. Our continuing work in the areas governed by these laws and regulations exposes us to the risk of substantial liability.
Force majeure events, including natural disasters, pandemics and terrorist actions, could negatively impact the economies in which we operate or disrupt our operations, which may affect our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
Force majeure or extraordinary events beyond the control of the contracting parties, such as natural and man-made disasters, as well as pandemics and terrorist actions, could negatively impact the economies in which we operate by causing the closure of offices, interrupting projects, and forcing the