Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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ABA Section of Public Contract Law; Commercial Product and Service Committee Meeting

November 10, 2021 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
ABA Section of Public Contract Law

Using Commercial Items Contracting to Build New Training Vessels for Merchant Mariners

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (“MARAD”) contracted with TOTE Services LLC to be the Vessel Construction Manager for the construction of up to five National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs). This shipbuilding contract is unique in that it is not based on the DFARS or the Navy’s acquisition rules but was awarded as a commercial item service contract by a civilian agency seeking to utilize the best practices in commercial ship construction.

Attorney Jeff Vogel, Member at Cozen O’Connor, led negotiations on behalf of TOTE with Philly Shipyard, and helped ensure a government contract worth $1.5 billion that is projected to bring 1,200 skilled shipbuilding jobs to the shipyard over the course of the contract. Using a commercial items approach to federal shipbuilding is innovative, but it posed interesting challenges, as Jeff well share.

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