September 15, 2020

WASHINGTON – In a new comment submission led by global tech trade association ITI, the multi-industry Council of Defense and Space Industry Associations (CODSIA) urged the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to provide new guidance to help contractors comply with the new Sec. 889 Supply Chain law.

The comments were submitted in response to the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Case 2019-009, Prohibition on Contracting with Entities Using Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment, which implements Sec. 889 of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) banning U.S. government contractor use of telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE and certain video surveillance equipment from three other named entities.

“The CODSIA member associations wholeheartedly support the U.S. government’s goal of preventing the exfiltration of sensitive information. Our member companies partner directly with the Federal government to provide products and services intended to build the U.S.’s technological capabilities against its adversaries and equip the warfighter. We understand the inherent challenges that come with implementing a law as far-reaching as Sec. 889 and also appreciate the inclusion of the new term “reasonable inquiry” as a means of reducing the burden on contractors as they complete the law’s required representation. Nonetheless, given the complex and interconnected nature of Federal supply chain acquisition risk management policies and regulations, many aspects of the interim rule require further elaboration and definition to help contractors ensure they can comply with the goals of the NDAA and the requirements of the interim rule, as noted in our comments below,” wrote the coalition.

In the comments, the group of associations specified that updates to the regulation should:

  • Align representation requirements with statutory language;
  • Provide consistent agency interpretation and application of the rule;
  • Clarify the applicability of the “Part A” and “Part B” prohibitions;
  • Limit the rule’s application to the entity executing a federal contract;
  • Exclude commercial customers from the rule’s application;
  • Clarify that the rule does not apply to backhaul, roaming, and interconnection agreements;
  • Limit the rule’s application to domestic use of covered equipment;
  • Create a central repository of covered subsidiaries and affiliates;
  • Clarify and reconsider reporting requirements;
  • Leverage the expertise of the Federal Acquisition Security Council (FASC);
  • Clarify and simplify the waiver process; and
  • Provide a full and complete cost estimate of the costs of the interim rule.

Read the full comment submission here.

Public Policy Tags: Cybersecurity, Federal Advocacy, Public Sector