Three departments in charge of federal purchasing policy have unveiled an interim rule amending Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to ban agencies from purchasing telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from five Chinese firms, including Huawei.
The interim rule from the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense and NASA took effect Aug. 13 and stems from a provision in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibiting federal agencies from purchasing telecommunications and video surveillance equipment, along with any “substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system” from the Chinese tech firms or their affiliates. The regulation language will apply to all new contracts and procurements as well as existing indefinite delivery contracts, as well as options picked up for existing contracts.
While the NDAA does allow for the issuance of individual, one-time waivers to agencies, the rule requires contractors to identify as part of their offer any telecommunications equipment or services that will be provided to the government, including those provided by subcontractors. Acknowledging that such a rule could result in a heavy “information collection burden” on federal agencies, the three departments are updating the System for Award Management to allow contractors to disclose these parts and components on an annual basis.
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