Robert Huffman Discusses Proposed Counterfeit Parts Reporting Rule with Law360

Law360, for its article “Contractors Prepare For Expanding Anti-Counterfeit Crusade,” quoted Akin Gump litigation partner and government contracts practice head Robert Huffman regarding the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s recent proposed regulations on reporting counterfeit electronic parts.

According to the article, the proposed rule would force government contractors to “report suspected counterfeit or defective parts to a central government clearinghouse known as the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program” and would then be required to check the clearinghouse’s database before purchasing parts.

Huffman said this is a significant change for contractors, who may seek more clarity before they fully understand the proposed regulation. He added, “You have to report to keep industry and government appraised when there’s a problem with a part or a class of parts. There are a lot of twists and turns in this rule, and it's going to take a lot of work to figure it all out, particularly when flowing it down to subcontracts.”

Huffman also noted that companies will likely raise issues including overlapping reporting and flow-down requirements in court hearings because “it’s hard to see how you comply with this proposed reporting requirement without imposing fairly detailed quality assurance requirements and reporting requirements on your subcontractors.”

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