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 Summary writes 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 solely applies to capital IT investment, the proposed clauses would include all contracts for international development projects with any IT assets and services and would 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 usurping all FAR and commercial licenses,
  • Requirements for information and communications technology accessibility, and
  • Skills and certifications requirements for privacy and security staff.

Unless revised, the clauses applying a broad 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. Imagine FSNs, TCNs or PSCs of institutional contractors who provide critical services to USAID globally, being denied access to information systems like GLAAS and Phoenix.

Comments, that explain why this rule would be inappropriate, ineffective or unacceptable without change, must be received by May 20, 2019. Read the proposed rule at: Federal Registry

Thank you to Chris O’Donnell of Development Essentials for authoring this article on behalf of SBAIC.

Development Essentials, LLC