The second and more arduous deadline for agencies and vendors to ensure they are no longer using certain Chinese made telecommunications products and services is here, and few are happy about it.
Industry and agencies alike continue to sound the alarm about the potential and real impacts of the interim rule implementing part B of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
“There is likely going to be significant impacts that will be felt across the federal sector,” said one government official, who requested anonymity in order to talk more candidly about the interim rule. “It’s very clear that the Defense Department and other agencies fully support the intent of the rule. We all know there is a lot of information about how China transmitted data and stole intellectual property so the intent of the rule is to protect our national security is good. But there will be unintended consequences because of how the specific language was written.”
Under the interim rule, which remains open for comments through mid-September, agencies cannot award new contracts, task orders or modify existing contracts to any vendor who doesn’t self-certify that they are not using products from Chinese companies like ZTE and Huawei.