Government Contracts Second Interim Rule Adds Further Telecommunications Prohibitions
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Monday, September 21, 2020

Second Interim Rule Adds Further Telecommunications Prohibitions

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council have issued Federal Acquisition Circular 2020-09, which contains a second FAR Case 2019-009 interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment. FAC 2020-08 contained the prior interim rule, which went into effect on August 13, 2020. Both rules implement section 889(a)(1)(B) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (PL 115-232). Section 889(a)(1)(B) prohibits executive agencies from entering into, or extending or renewing, a contract 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.

Amendments. The new rule requires an offeror to represent annually, after conducting a reasonable inquiry, whether it uses covered telecommunications equipment or services, or any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services. The rule reduces the information collection burden imposed on the public by allowing an offeror to update the System for Award Management and represent annually, after conducting a reasonable inquiry, whether it uses covered telecommunications equipment or services, or any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services. In particular, the amendments allow an offeror that responds “does not” in the annual representation at FAR 52.204-26, Covered Telecommunications Equipment or Services—Representation, or in paragraph (v)(2)(ii) of FAR 52.212-3, Offeror Representations and Certifications—Commercial Items, to skip the offer-by-offer representation for paragraph (d)(2) within the provision at FAR 52.204-24, Representation Regarding Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment. Comments on this interim rule, identified by FAR Case 2019-009, are due October 26, 2020. For the text of FAC 2020-09, see ¶70,002.221.

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