The implementation of Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) became effective August 13, 2020. The NDAA prohibits executive agencies from “enter[ing] into a contract (or extend a contract) with an entity that uses any equipment, system, or services that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system,” whether or not the equipment or services are used in the performance of work under a federal award. Terms requiring compliance with the requirements of Section 889 are beginning to appear in awards and therefore, please be aware that there may be delays in award execution and processing while JHU conducts a reasonable inquiry to assure that the university can comply with the restrictions included in incoming awards.
How Will This Affect Your Grants/Contracts:
The University is now in the process of performing a review to ensure our compliance with these new regulations. Until that process is completed, research administration offices will not be signing any certifications or contract modifications that address these provisions and will notify grants and contract officers accordingly to request an extension of the response period. Please remember that faculty and staff are not authorized to sign sponsored projects agreements or related documents, including certifications, that assert or confirm the University’s compliance with these regulations. Please forward these documents to your research administration office.
The statutory prohibitions of Section 889 are twofold – there are contracting prohibitions included in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and separately a prohibition on use of grant funds through the updated Uniform Guidance (UG).
Section 889 defines covered telecommunications equipment or services as including:
Please reach out to your research administration contact if you have any questions regarding this. Thank you for your patience while we work to assure compliance.
Vice Provost for Research
TH Smoot Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Published: September 3, 2020