Due to concerns of espionage and infiltration, federal agencies can no longer contract with companies that use technologies from two Chinese companies: Huawei and ZTE. But exactly how that ban will impact the federal contracting community is still up in the air.
A provision in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act prevents agency heads from signing contracts “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.”
As federal agencies grapple with how to meet this directive, the Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA held a forum Friday to hear from industry stakeholders and allow members of the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to ask questions.
Comments varied from nonplused to strongly concerned over how the legislation will affect ongoing federal business, including federal grants used for local public safety improvements. Despite differences in perspective, all speakers agreed on one thing: The current language is ambiguous.
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