Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2012
Commitments and Contingencies  
Commitments and Contingencies



11. Commitments and Contingencies




The Company is involved in various legal proceedings, including contract and employment claims, in the ordinary course of its business. The matters reported on below involve significant pending or potential claims against us.


In March 2009, a state Medicaid agency asserted a claim against MAXIMUS, related to a discontinued business line, in the amount of $2.3 million in connection with a contract MAXIMUS had through February 1, 2009 to provide Medicaid administrative claiming services to school districts in the state. MAXIMUS entered into separate agreements with the school districts under which MAXIMUS helped the districts prepare and submit claims to the state Medicaid agency which, in turn, submitted claims for reimbursement to the federal government. No legal action has been initiated. The state has asserted that its agreement with MAXIMUS requires the Company to reimburse the state for the amounts owed to the federal government. However, the Company’s agreements with the school districts require them to reimburse MAXIMUS for such payments and therefore MAXIMUS believes the school districts are responsible for any amounts disallowed by the state Medicaid agency or the federal government. Accordingly, the Company believes its exposure in this matter is limited to its fees associated with this work and that the school districts will be responsible for the remainder. During the second quarter of fiscal 2009, MAXIMUS recorded a $0.7 million reduction of revenue reflecting the fees it earned under the contract. MAXIMUS has exited the federal healthcare claiming business and no longer provides the services at issue in this matter.


In 2008 MAXIMUS sold the SchoolMAX student information system business line as part of the divestiture of the MAXIMUS Education Systems division.  In 2011, a school district which was a SchoolMAX client initiated the dispute resolution process under their contract. The client raised a number of issues pertaining to services and products delivered under the contract. The client also raised certain audit issues pertaining to royalties and most favored customer pricing but has apparently abandoned those claims in light of a final audit report that only questioned a total amount of approximately $42,000.  The parties participated in various mediation sessions during 2011, but they did not reach a resolution.  In April 2012, the client filed a formal arbitration notice alleging that MAXIMUS and the buyer failed to (i) use best practices in developing the software and (ii) deliver and test product releases as required by the contract.  The client contends that those failures resulted in damages of at least $10 million.  MAXIMUS and the buyer are contesting the client’s claims.  We cannot at this time reasonably estimate the possible loss that could be incurred if the plaintiff were to prevail but we believe that we have substantial defenses. In addition, we believe that we are entitled to indemnification from the buyer of the business for the claims asserted in the arbitration notice.


Credit Facilities and Performance Bonds


The Company has a revolving credit agreement with SunTrust Bank. At March 31, 2012, the only indebtedness outstanding under this agreement was letters of credit totaling $14.0 million. The revolving credit facility contains customary financial and other covenants that require the maintenance of certain ratios including a maximum leverage ratio and a minimum fixed charge coverage ratio. The Company was in compliance with all covenants as of March 31, 2012.


Certain contracts require us to provide a surety bond as a guarantee of performance. At March 31, 2012 and September 30, 2011, the Company had performance bond commitments totaling $17.1 million and $16.9 million, respectively. These bonds are typically renewed annually and remain in place until the contractual obligations have been satisfied. Although the triggering events vary from contract to contract, in general, we would only be liable for the amount of these guarantees in the event of default in our performance of our obligations under each contract, the probability of which we believe is remote.


Flexible New Deal Contract Liabilities and Contingent Gains


In August 2009, the Company commenced work for the United Kingdom government as a provider of services under the “Flexible New Deal,” a welfare-to-work initiative. The work was performed in the Company’s Human Services Segment. This initiative was terminated for all contract providers during the 2011 fiscal year and replaced with the “Work Programme,” under which MAXIMUS also performs services. As a consequence of the termination of the Flexible New Deal, MAXIMUS incurred certain costs related to the termination of contracts, including property leases for offices which are no longer occupied by the Company but for which the Company retains responsibility for future lease payments. For properties which have been exited, the Company has recognized a liability for future lease rentals, service charges and property taxes for which they are liable, offset by anticipated future sublease rentals. The Company initially recorded a reserve of $0.5 million at September 30, 2011 to cover these liabilities which has been fully utilized at March 31, 2012.


As part of the Flexible New Deal contract, MAXIMUS was entitled to reimbursement for costs incurred as a consequence of early termination, as well as a contract settlement for payments the Company would have received for realizing certain long-term goals under the contract. During the six months ended March 31, 2012, MAXIMUS received a claim of $2.7 million for revenue foregone and $1.5 million of cost recoveries, net of subcontractor expenses.


Loss contract


During the three and six month periods ended March 31, 2012, the Company recorded a gain of $2.6 million on a fixed price contract owing to changes in our estimate to complete the work and the execution of a change order. During the three and six month periods ended March 31, 2011, the Company recorded a charge of $4.2 million and $7.3 million, respectively, on the same contract. The Company has recorded a liability of $1.5 million related to the anticipated loss to be recorded on this contract. The revenue and profitability on this contract are based upon estimated costs to complete the project, which are inherently subject to risk.