By Chris O’Donnell, March 29, 2019. Initiating statutory rule-making, USAID on March 21, 2019 posted to the Federal Registry a proposed rule to add 7 new acquisition (AIDAR) clauses for contract solicitations and awards. Public comment is open for 60-days.

USAID in the Federal Registry announcement states, if the rule is adopted, it would provide increased oversight of contractor acquisition and use of information technology resources [by the USAID CIO].

In the 31 pages that followed, USAID explains the clauses are derived from the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act 2015 (FITARA) and OMB Memo M-15-14. While FITARA applies to IT capital planning and investment, the proposed clauses would include all contracts with IT assets and services and require:

  • USAID/CIO approval of all contracts that include IT assets and services including subcontracts under assistance,
  • Restrict access to information technology systems to US citizens & resident aliens only,
  • Legislative and Public Affairs’ evaluation and approval of third-party web sites,
  • A software license addendum taking precedence over licenses agreements or other contract documents,
  • Requirements for information and communications technology accessibility, and
  • Skills and certifications requirements for privacy and security staff.

Unless revised, the clauses applying a broader definition of IT, would significantly delay approval of all contracts with IT assets, IT services and third-party web sites bypassing the missions’ capacity to provide necessary approvals. They would add new software license terms and conditions and eliminate access of US non-resident aliens to government information technology systems. While USAID directly hires a significant number of FSN, TCN and PSC non-resident aliens with access to government information technology systems, employees hired by the 149 institutional contractors stated in the announcement, would be denied access to information systems like GLAAS and Phoenix.

While comments, that explain why the rule would be inappropriate, ineffective or unacceptable without change, must be received by May 20, 2019, the submitter may want to suggest revised language that assists USAID to meet FITARA and OMB Memo M-15-14 requirements. Read the proposed rule at: Federal Registry

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