The DoD is planning to issue a final rule in December establishing a procedure for DoD acquisition officials to perform assessments of a contractor’s compliance with NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-171.
According to Inside Cybersecurity, final rulemaking will cement provisions from a November 2020 interim final rule that [a] directed contractors to submit NIST 800-171 compliance scores into the Supplier Performance Risk System and [b] allow auditors from the Defense Contract Management Agency to conduct follow up assessments.
Failure to Comply Could Mean Lost Contracts
The June 16 memorandum reminded acquisition officials of NIST 800-171 requirements in place NOW and potential remedies for non-compliance if companies do not make progress on their submitted plan of action and milestones (POAMs). “Failure to have or to make progress on a plan to implement NIST SP 800-171 requirements may be considered a material breach of contract requirements. Remedies for such a breach may include: withholding progress payments; foregoing remaining contract options; and potentially terminating the contract in part or in whole.”
Reginald Jones of Fox Rothschild wrote a June 24 blog post concluding “The long and short of it is Read Your Contract! Search for DFARS 252.204-7012 and DFARS 252.204-7020. If contained in your contract, ensure that you have posted your summary level NIST SP 800-171 scores in SPRS, and if you have not done so, ensure that you have a plan of action outlining milestones of your path to compliance.”
Key Questions to Consider
- Is your organization compliant with NIST 800-171?
- Do you have an SSP or POAMs?
- Would you be prepared and pass an audit?
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