The Pentagon and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are discussing extending a waiver that gives the defense industrial base more time to ensure certain noncritical weapons systems comply with a new rule aimed at excising Chinese telecommunications equipment from the supply chain, according to the Defense Department’s acquisition chief.
Undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord talked briefly about implementation of Section 889 Part B, a provision of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, during a Defense News Conference. Her remarks came a day ahead of a feedback webinar the General Services Administration will host to solicit questions, comments and concerns from stakeholders about Section 889 implementation.
“So what we did is we got a waiver from ODNI for noncritical weapons systems,” Lord said. “We continue to discuss an extension beyond September of that with them.”
Part B of Section 889 officially went into effect August 13, about a month after the final version of the rule was released in July. The rule prohibits federal agencies from contracting with entities that use equipment from certain covered companies including Huawei and ZTE. In effect, Part B requires contractors to search through their supply chains to determine and disclose to the government whether they use any of the covered equipment or services.