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Government contractors have been closely watching developments in the implementation of Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019, which bans government contractors’ use and provision of telecommunications and video surveillance products and services from Huawei, ZTE, and other identified Chinese companies. The Administration has previously determined that the equipment and services provided by these companies poses an espionage threat to U.S. national security interests.

We previously reported that implementation of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Interim Final Rule on Section 889(a)(1)(B)’s aspects of the ban, which applies to government contractors whether or not their use is for government contracts, was scheduled to go into effect on August 13, 2020.

Apparently in response to industry-identified problems in complying with the ban by the deadline, the Director of National Intelligence has reportedly granted DoD a temporary waiver for “procurement of goods and services in support of DoD’s statutory mission” pending assessment of a broader waiver request.

This waiver comes at the 25th hour – after the date that the Interim Final Rule was set to take effect.

A quick search of the DoD and DNI websites did not locate the waiver. However, stay tuned. We are watching matters closely and will follow up once we learn more about the reported waiver. Contact the authors if you have questions about this alert, Section 889 implementation matters, or other government contracting matters.