Government Contracts Rule Adds Prohibitions for Telecommunications/Video Surveillance
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Monday, August 10, 2020

Rule Adds Prohibitions for Telecommunications/Video Surveillance

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council have issued Federal Acquisition Circular 2020-08, which contains one interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment (FAR Case 2019-009). The rule implements section 889(a)(1)(B) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (PL 115-232), which prohibits executive agencies from contracting with an entity that uses any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system. Specifically, the statute covers certain telecommunications equipment and services produced or provided by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation, and certain video surveillance products or telecommunications equipment and services produced or provided by Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, or Dahua (or any subsidiary or affiliate of these entities). The rule seeks to avoid the disruption of federal contractor systems and operations that could disrupt the operations of the federal government, which relies on contractors to provide a range of support and services.

Section 889(a)(1)(B) Implemented. The rule implements 889(a)(1)(B) to require submission of a representation with each offer that will require all offerors to represent, after conducting a reasonable inquiry, whether covered telecommunications equipment or services are used by the offeror. The rule amends FAR Subpart 4.21, Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment; the solicitation provision at FAR 52.204-24, Representation Regarding Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment; and the contract clause at FAR 52.204-25, Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment, to implement these requirements. This prohibition applies to an entity that uses at the prime contractor level any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system, regardless of whether that usage is in performance of work under a federal contract. This prohibition does not flow down to subcontractors. Comments on this interim rule, identified by FAR Case 2019-009, are due September 24, 2020. For the text of FAC 2020-08, see ¶70,002.220.

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