Federal contractors have had a flurry of headlines to keep up with over the last few months. Most prominent among them is the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s interim rule barring federal agencies and contractors from using TikTok or any other ByteDance product (the “Covered Applications”).
The rule, FAR 52.204-27, is effective immediately and prohibits all contractors from “having” or “using” “on any information technology owned or managed by the Government, or on any information technology used or provided by the Contractor under this contract, including equipment provided by the Contractor’s employees …” This language is broad. And it not only prohibits all federal contractors from having or using Covered Applications on their own information technology, but it also prohibits such products on equipment provided by the Contractor’s employees. The import, of course, is that the TikTok ban extends to contractor’s employees’ personal devices used in part for work.
As a result, employers who are federal contractors need to remove any Covered Applications from their information technology systems, as well as direct all employees using a personal device for work to delete any Covered Application from their device.
Although the TikTok ban has garnered the most headlines, several other important updates for federal contractors and subcontractors have been recently announced:
- EEO-1 Component 1 Data Delayed. On June 29, the EEOC announced that the data collection for 2022 EEO-1 Component data was extended from July 2023 to Fall 2023. This data – which includes employer data on categories such as race, gender, and ethnicity – is collected from all private sector employers with one hundred or more employees and some federal contractors. The EEOC explained that this delay is due to mandated data collection renewal by the Office of Management and Budget in the White House.
- VETs Deadline Set. The OFCCP recently announced that the filing cycle for Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETs) form-4212 runs from August 1 until September 30, 2023. VETs Form-4212 is the form that contractors and subcontractors use to report their affirmative action efforts for veterans. Further, the OFCCP adopted the FAR Council’s inflation adjusted reporting thresholds for 2023, which means that any contractor or subcontractor with a contract or subcontract of $150,000 or more must file a VETs FORM-4212 by September 30, 2023, regardless of the number of employees the contractor or subcontractor employs.