The Professional Services Council (PSC), in conjunction with the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), sent a letter to Congress that has requested a six-month extension of the deadline of Section 889(a)(1)(B) Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, the agency announced on Thursday.
“The long-term vulnerabilities from dependence on some of these items are real, and action is needed. However, both the government and its contractors are allocating their resources to support the nation’s response to and recovery from COVID-19,” said David Berteau, PSC President and CEO. “Changing the compliance date for Part B will let companies attend to immediate response needs while providing adequate time to assess and prepare for changes in supply chains.”
The law has stated that the government prevents companies from using telecommunications equipment and services from specified Chinese companies. The focus on dealing with the impact of COVID-19 fully justifies this six-month extension, said the March 31, 2020, letter.
PSC and NDIA requested that the deadline be rescheduled from August 13, 2020, to February 2021, giving the government time to develop and issue a draft implementation rule and giving industry and the public time to assess impacts and to prepare for a very complex undertaking.
PSC noted that Part B’s broad language does not explicitly state critical definitions and compliance requirements. Both industry and the government need additional time to define more precisely how to meet the objectives of Part B.
“Securing supply chains against subtle, determined, and sophisticated adversaries remains essential for national security,” Berteau said. “By granting this request for an extended timeline, the defense industrial base will be in a better position to continue delivering uncompromised support for national defense objectives, even during this unprecedented crisis.”
PSC is the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. PSC’s more than 400 member companies represent small, medium and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states.