Prohibition on certain Chinese video surveillance and telecom equipment expected to cost contractors more than $80 billion to fully implement; many questions still remain unanswered
Following the release of the interim rule Friday, July 10, 2020 (read the Security Industry Association’s (SIA’s) preliminary analysis here), it is now clearer than ever that implementation of “Part B” of Section 889 under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2019 – must be delayed.
The federal government estimates that it will cost contractors well over $80 billion to fully implement this prohibition on the use of certain Chinese telecommunications and video surveillance equipment, yet endless delays in publishing the rule now mean that federal suppliers have just weeks to understand and comply with the new rule, which raises as many questions as it answers.
Federal suppliers across a wide range of industries have increasingly concluded that Part B is unworkable without clarification of the scope and meaning of key terms in the provision, which the rule does not do enough to define. For example, Part B bans agencies from contracting with a provider that “uses” any covered equipment or service. This term is not clearly defined in law or regulation, yet contractors must certify compliance beginning Aug. 13, 2020.
Its clear from the interim rule that more time is needed to resolve these uncertainties and ensure thorough, worldwide compliance consistent with the objectives of Section 889 – amid the pressing responsibilities of businesses and government agencies dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. SIA supports the growing efforts by leaders in the U.S. House, Senate and administration to address these issues and implement a timeline that allows for sufficient public input and collaboration to ensure key protections for federal networks, facilities and supply chains can be implemented successfully.