In an attempt to lock down security of federal facilities and computer networks, agencies are now authorized to withhold final payment to contractors until all government-issued identification cards are returned, according to a rule published in the Federal Register on Dec. 30, 2010.
The Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA amended the federal acquisition regulation to require agencies to keep better tabs on the personal identity verification cards that provide necessary access to federal buildings and computer systems to contractors, by requiring firms to return all issued IDs when they’re no longer needed for contract performance. The rule authorizes the contracting officer to delay final payment if the contractor fails to comply with these requirements.
Among the comments submitted by industry when the rule was first proposed noted that contractor companies are not typically kept in the loop when employees are issued IDs, making retrieval of those cards difficult. In response, DOD, GSA and NASA recommended that agencies notify contracting firms when ID cards are issued to their employees or subcontractors.