Contractors must comply with HSPD-12

A new federal rule that took effect Nov. 22 requires that all new contracts comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) when contractors and subcontractors need access to federal facilities or information systems.

Existing contracts must comply with HSPD-12 by October 2007, according to the rule published in the Federal Register.

HSPD-12 requires federal agencies to issue a standards-compliant personal identity verification (PIV) card to all employees by Oct. 27, 2008. Agencies were required to begin issuing the credential by Oct. 27.

The Defense Department, the General Services Administration and NASA proposed the interim rule, and it was published in the Federal Register Jan. 3. The 60-day comment period ended March 6.

The final rule amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation that requires contracting officers to incorporate the requirement that contractors comply with agency verification procedures to meet HSPD-12.

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council agreed to make the provisional rule permanent after considering the public comments.

In their comments, respondents sought clarification of the clearance process and questioned the costs involved. In one case, a respondent said the cost of administering the rule would be significant enough to designate it as a major rule and subject to congressional review.

But the councils rejected that argument, saying the government is providing the budgetary and administrative resources to implement HSPD-12.

According to the Federal Register, the councils “have appropriately complied with the determination made by [the Office of Management and Budget’s] Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs that this rule is not significant, nor economically significant, nor a major rule.”

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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