Alston & Bird partner Jeniffer Roberts along with senior associate Katherine Veeder spoke with Inside Defense last month regarding potential hot topics in government contracting for 2019. One such topic, as highlighted in the publication’s article, “Looking to 2019: Contracting advocates and experts lay out key issues in the year ahead” is supply chain management, including the new requirements and prohibitions that U.S. government contractors may need to flow down to their subcontractors. As Jeniffer Roberts explained, “certain prohibitions, including those on the government and contractors using Huawei and ZTE Technology products, are set to begin taking effect in 2019.” Likewise, while the Kaspersky ban is currently in effect, Jeniffer and Katherine commented that “they’ll be watching potential challenges to these bans. Kaspersky, for instance, has unsuccessfully challenged its ban but could seek to the take the matter to the Supreme Court.”
Read the full article here.
More specifically, Congress included in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, Pub. L. No. 115-232, 132 Stat. 1636 (Aug. 13, 2018), a ban on the government’s purchase of any equipment, system, or service that uses telecommunications equipment or certain related services produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation or video surveillance and telecommunications equipment or related services produced by other enumerated companies as a substantial or essential component of any system or as critical technology as part of any system. The ban also prevents the government from contracting with an entity that uses any equipment, system, or service that uses the covered equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system or as critical technology as part of any system. The ban is to be phased in over a two-year time period, beginning in 2019 with the prohibition on the government’s direct purchase of covered products and services. In 2019, U.S. government contractors should pay close attention to whether and how the government proposes to implement these bans and consider how they will flow down the prohibitions to their subcontractors.