There needs to be better clarification of contractor responsibilities in the proposed “Controlled Unclassified Information” rule published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2015, said the Professional Services Council (PSC) in comments submitted to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
“While this rule generally addresses federal agencies and the implementation of the government-wide controlled unclassified information (CUI) program, several of its provisions impact the federal contractor community, and it will be important to ensure that the current rule, and any subsequent Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), appropriately address issues of concern to contractors,” said PSC Executive Vice President and Counsel Alan Chvotkin in comments to NARA on behalf of PSC.
Although PSC said Tuesday it “endorsed a May 8 proposed rule that would establish government-wide standards for controlled unclassified information,” it also noted it needs “more clarity … on contractor responsibilities."
“PSC strongly supports the objectives of the CUI program and its goal of a consistent, uniform policy, along with standards and marking of information that is required to be controlled,” Chvotkin said. “However, there are inconsistencies in the proposal regarding the responsibilities and challenges facing contractors that must be reconciled and corrected before a final rule is put into place.”
PSC said, “The proposed rule’s definitions of the controls contractors must follow are not consistent with the mandate for agencies to identify and mark the information consistently. In addition, there are inconsistencies between the information marking requirements of the rule and the waiver authorities provided to agencies. Finally, the government significantly underestimates the compliance burden imposed on contractors, particularly small businesses.”