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DFARS 252.227-7019 Validation of Asserted Restrictions--Computer Software. Basic (Sep 2016)

As prescribed in 227.7104(e)(3) or 227.7203-6(c), (c) Use the clause at 252.227-7019, Validation of Asserted Restrictions--Computer Software, in solicitations and contracts that include the clause at 252.227-7014. The clause provides procedures for the validation of asserted restrictions on the Government's rights to use, release, or disclose computer software.

VALIDATION OF ASSERTED RESTRICTIONS—COMPUTER SOFTWARE

(SEP 2016)

      (a)  Definitions.

              (1)  As used in this clause, unless otherwise specifically indicated, the term “Contractor” means the Contractor and its subcontractors or suppliers.

              (2)  Other terms used in this clause are defined in the Rights in Noncommercial Computer Software and Noncommercial Computer Software Documentation clause of this contract.

      (b)  Justification.  The Contractor shall maintain records sufficient to justify the validity of any markings that assert restrictions on the Government's rights to use, modify, reproduce, perform, display, release, or disclose computer software delivered or required to be delivered under this contract and shall be prepared to furnish to the Contracting Officer a written justification for such restrictive markings in response to a request for information under paragraph (d) or a challenge under paragraph (f) of this clause.

      (c)  Direct contact with subcontractors or suppliers.  The Contractor agrees that the Contracting Officer may transact matters under this clause directly with subcontractors or suppliers at any tier who assert restrictions on the Government's right to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose computer software.  Neither this clause, nor any action taken by the Government under this clause, creates or implies privity of contract between the Government and the Contractor's subcontractors or suppliers.

      (d)  Requests for information.

              (1)  The Contracting Officer may request the Contractor to provide sufficient information to enable the Contracting Officer to evaluate the Contractor's asserted restrictions.  Such information shall be based upon the records required by this clause or other information reasonably available to the Contractor.

              (2)  Based upon the information provided, if the—

                    (i)  Contractor agrees that an asserted restriction is not valid, the Contracting Officer may—

                            (A)  Strike or correct the unjustified marking at the Contractor's expense; or

                            (B)  Return the computer software to the Contractor for correction at the Contractor's expense.  If the Contractor fails to correct or strike the unjustified restriction and return the corrected software to the Contracting Officer within sixty (60) days following receipt of the software, the Contracting Officer may correct or strike the markings at that Contractor's expense.

                    (ii)  Contracting Officer concludes that the asserted restriction is appropriate for this contract, the Contracting Officer shall so notify the Contractor in writing.

              (3)  The Contractor's failure to provide a timely response to a Contracting Officer's request for information or failure to provide sufficient information to enable the Contracting Officer to evaluate an asserted restriction shall constitute reasonable grounds for questioning the validity of an asserted restriction.

      (e)  Government right to challenge and validate asserted restrictions.

              (1)  The Government, when there are reasonable grounds to do so, has the right to review and challenge the validity of any restrictions asserted by the Contractor on the Government's rights to use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose computer software delivered, to be delivered under this contract, or otherwise provided to the Government in the performance of this contract.  Except for software that is publicly available, has been furnished to the Government without restrictions, or has been otherwise made available without restrictions, the Government may exercise this right only within three years after the date(s) the software is delivered or otherwise furnished to the Government, or three years following final payment under this contract, whichever is later.

              (2)  The absence of a challenge to an asserted restriction shall not constitute validation under this clause.  Only a Contracting Officer's final decision or actions of an agency Board of Contract Appeals or a court of competent jurisdiction that sustain the validity of an asserted restriction constitute validation of the restriction.

      (f)  Challenge procedures.

              (1)  A challenge must be in writing and shall—

                    (i)  State the specific grounds for challenging the asserted restriction;

                    (ii)  Require the Contractor to respond within sixty (60) days;

                    (iii)  Require the Contractor to provide justification for the assertion based upon records kept in accordance with paragraph (b) of this clause and such other documentation that are reasonably available to the Contractor, in sufficient detail to enable the Contracting Officer to determine the validity of the asserted restrictions; and

                    (iv)  State that a Contracting Officer's final decision, during the three-year period preceding this challenge, or action of a court of competent jurisdiction or Board of Contract Appeals that sustained the validity of an identical assertion made by the Contractor (or a licensee) shall serve as justification for the asserted restriction.

              (2)  The Contracting Officer shall extend the time for response if the Contractor submits a written request showing the need for additional time to prepare a response.

              (3)  The Contracting Officer may request additional supporting documentation if, in the Contracting Officer’s opinion, the Contractor's explanation does not provide sufficient evidence to justify the validity of the asserted restrictions.  The Contractor agrees to promptly respond to the Contracting Officer's request for additional supporting documentation.

              (4)  Notwithstanding challenge by the Contracting Officer, the parties may agree on the disposition of an asserted restriction at any time prior to a Contracting Officer's final decision or, if the Contractor has appealed that decision, filed suit, or provided notice of an intent to file suit, at any time prior to a decision by a court of competent jurisdiction or Board of Contract Appeals.

              (5)  If the Contractor fails to respond to the Contracting Officer's request for information or additional information under paragraph (f)(1) of this clause, the Contracting Officer shall issue a final decision, in accordance with the Disputes clause of this contract, pertaining to the validity of the asserted restriction.

              (6)  If the Contracting Officer, after reviewing any available information pertaining to the validity of an asserted restriction, determines that the asserted restriction has—

                    (i)  Not been justified, the Contracting Officer shall issue promptly a final decision, in accordance with the Disputes clause of this contract, denying the validity of the asserted restriction; or

                    (ii)  Been justified, the Contracting Officer shall issue promptly a final decision, in accordance with the Disputes clause of this contract, validating the asserted restriction.

              (7)  A Contractor receiving challenges to the same asserted restriction(s) from more than one Contracting Officer shall notify each Contracting Officer of the other challenges.  The notice shall also state which Contracting Officer initiated the first in time unanswered challenge.  The Contracting Officer who initiated the first in time unanswered challenge, after consultation with the other Contracting Officers who have challenged the restrictions and the Contractor, shall formulate and distribute a schedule that provides the Contractor a reasonable opportunity for responding to each challenge.

      (g)  Contractor appeal¾Government obligation.

              (1)  The Government agrees that, notwithstanding a Contracting Officer's final decision denying the validity of an asserted restriction and except as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this clause, it will honor the asserted restriction—

                    (i)  For a period of ninety (90) days from the date of the Contracting Officer's final decision to allow the Contractor to appeal to the appropriate Board of Contract Appeals or to file suit in an appropriate court;

                    (ii)  For a period of one year from the date of the Contracting Officer's final decision if, within the first ninety (90) days following the Contracting Officer's final decision, the Contractor has provided notice of an intent to file suit in an appropriate court; or

                    (iii)  Until final disposition by the appropriate Board of Contract Appeals or court of competent jurisdiction, if the Contractor has:

                            (A)  appealed to the Board of Contract Appeals or filed suit an appropriate court within ninety (90) days; or

                            (B) submitted, within ninety (90) days, a notice of intent to file suit in an appropriate court and filed suit within one year.

              (2)  The Contractor agrees that the Government may strike, correct, or ignore the restrictive markings if the Contractor fails to—

                    (i)  Appeal to a Board of Contract Appeals within ninety (90) days from the date of the Contracting Officer's final decision;

                    (ii)  File suit in an appropriate court within ninety (90) days from such date; or

                    (iii)  File suit within one year after the date of the Contracting Officer's final decision if the Contractor had provided notice of intent to file suit within ninety (90) days following the date of the Contracting Officer's final decision.

              (3)  The agency head, on a nondelegable basis, may determine that urgent or compelling circumstances do not permit awaiting the filing of suit in an appropriate court, or the rendering of a decision by a court of competent jurisdiction or Board of Contract Appeals. In that event, the agency head shall notify the Contractor of the urgent or compelling circumstances. Notwithstanding paragraph (g)(1) of this clause, the Contractor agrees that the agency may use, modify, reproduce, release, perform, display, or disclose computer software marked with (i) government purpose legends for any purpose, and authorize others to do so; or (ii) restricted or special license rights for government purposes only. The Government agrees not to release or disclose such software unless, prior to release or disclosure, the intended recipient is subject to the use and non-disclosure agreement at 227.7103-7 of the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), or is a Government contractor receiving access to the software for performance of a Government contract that contains the clause at DFARS 252.227-7025, Limitations on the Use or Disclosure of Government-Furnished Information Marked with Restrictive Legends.  The agency head's determination may be made at any time after the date of the Contracting Officer's final decision and shall not affect the Contractor's right to damages against the United States, or other relief provided by law, if its asserted restrictions are ultimately upheld.

      (h)  Final disposition of appeal or suit.  If the Contractor appeals or files suit and if, upon final disposition of the appeal or suit, the Contracting Officer's decision is:

              (1)  Sustained—

                    (i)  Any restrictive marking on such computer software shall be struck or corrected at the Contractor's expense or ignored; and

                    (ii)  If the asserted restriction is found not to be substantially justified, the Contractor shall be liable to the Government for payment of the cost to the Government of reviewing the asserted restriction and the fees and other expenses (as defined in 28 U.S.C. 2412(d)(2)(A)) incurred by the Government in challenging the restriction, unless special circumstances would make such payment unjust.

              (2)  Not sustained—

                    (i)  The Government shall be bound by the asserted restriction; and

                    (ii)  If the challenge by the Government is found not to have been made in good faith, the Government shall be liable to the Contractor for payment of fees and other expenses (as defined in 28 U.S.C. 2412(d)(2)(A)) incurred by the Contractor in defending the restriction.

      (i)  Flowdown.  The Contractor shall insert this clause in all contracts, purchase orders, and other similar instruments with its subcontractors or suppliers, at any tier, who will be furnishing computer software to the Government in the performance of this contract.  The clause may not be altered other than to identify the appropriate parties.

(End of clause)

(i) Flowdown. The Contractor shall insert this clause in all contracts, purchase orders, and other similar instruments with its subcontractors or suppliers, at any tier, who will be furnishing computer software to the Government in the performance of this contract. The clause may not be altered other than to identify the appropriate parties.

Mandatory (Exception);
(Applies when furnishing computer software to the Government in the performance of this contract.)
⚠ =252.227-7014 Basic

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