G2X TAKE: G2X has been hearing from several leaders sharing concerns about recent moves by the Securities and Exchange Commission to require contractors to back-fill all of their non-US Citizen IT consultants by October 16, 2020 and to ensure all company employees and subcontractors, including officers that are not U.S. Citizens, are no longer permitted to have access to SEC information or systems.
This move by the agency will clearly have a significant impact on the contracting landscape at SEC as companies come to grips with the direct impacts, such as how to handle their current roster of employees, some of which can be easily re-purposed elsewhere, others who cannot; changes to current and future hiring requirements both in terms of cost to hire and increased salaries; and process and technology firewalls that will need to be put in place.
There is much speculation about the driving force behind this action, ranging from COVID-19 and so many U.S. Citizens being unemployed, to increased security concerns, to the new CIO David Bottom coming in from the Intel side of the house. An overriding and significant concern is whether this might turn into a trend with other agencies.
Included below are excerpts from a recent IT Service Contracts Citizenship Requirements Q&A:
- “Affected prime contractors and subcontractors will be given until October 16, 2020 to come into compliance. Primes are to notify the government within 14 days of receipt of the notification letter issued by the Contracting Officer if they or their subcontractors cannot maintain the same level of service on their contracts while transitioning. If they cannot, the Government and Prime contractor will discuss how to mitigate impacts”
- “This applies to staff performing work on an SEC IT service contract.”
- “RE: the status of company officers who are non-citizens and their ability to interact with the SEC? “Answer: Company employees and subcontractors, including officers that are not U.S. Citizens are not permitted to have access to SEC information or systems.”
- “RE: Whether HB1 or Green Cards will be allowed – Answer: No.”
- “RE: whether the citizenship rule flows down to the subcontracts – Answer: Yes, this applies to all subcontracts at any tier…”