PSC Calls for Clarification to Supply Chain Rule 

Letter Urges the Government to Address Discrepancies in Telecommunications Regulations

Arlington, Va. (Sept. 16, 2020) The Professional Services Council (PSC) called on the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council to address and clarify a number of outstanding issues regarding the July 14, 2020, Interim Final Rule—Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment—which implements Section 889(a)(1)(B) of the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). PSC submitted comments on September 14 on this interim final rule concerning prohibitions on contractors’ use of products and services from certain Chinese telecommunications firms including Huawei and ZTE.

“PSC strongly supports the intent of the legislation and the Interim Final Rule to reduce risks and provide greater security in government contractor systems. We also appreciate that the government has taken into account some industry concerns since enactment of Section 889 and has issued guidance that may help achieve a more manageable implementation process,” said PSC President and CEO David Berteau. “However, we are disappointed that the FAR Council chose to issue a last-minute Interim Final Rule and, as our comments lay out, believe there is more the government can do to improve implementation by addressing ambiguities and deficiencies in the final rule when it is issued.”  

PSC’s comments highlight that the rule provided too little time for agencies to be prepared for seamless implementation. A proposed regulation would have provided time for affected contractors to give useful feedback to government regulators and given companies adequate time to prepare for compliance. The letter also outlines nine areas where the FAR Council should take specific actions to address deficiencies in the July Interim Rule.

“Further clarifications are necessary for the government and the contractor community to implement the provision as intended. For example, there is no definition for what constitutes “use,” nor is there any definitive list of both covered affiliates and subsidiaries and covered prohibited equipment and services,” Berteau continued. “These shortcomings place significant burdens on companies who undertake to comply with this complex and wide-ranging prohibition, a burden that can only be removed by government action and information sharing.”

PSC also provided a written statement to the Department of Defense on March 2 and participated in a webinar with the United States Agency for International Development on August 20. PSC looks forward to continuing to work with government to support an efficient and reasonable Section 889 implementation process and a more secure America.

Click here to view a PDF of this release.

Media Contact:
Pheniece Jones
Director, Media Relations 

About PSC:
 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. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks. To learn more, visit