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Apr 4 -- The Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce, invites comments by June 3, 2022 regarding its proposed renewal of National Security and Critical Technology Assessments of the U.S. Industrial Base.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) conducts surveys and assessments of critical U.S. industrial sectors and technologies. Undertaken at the request of various policy, research and development (R&D), and program and planning organizations within the Department of Defense and the Armed Services, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), NASA and other agencies, BIS research, data collection and analysis provide needed information to benchmark industry performance and raise awareness of diminishing manufacturing capabilities.
 
BIS has a long history of assisting government agencies and industries to better understand critical industrial supply chains, economic trends and trade issues that impact vital sectors and technologies, and overall U.S. national security.

Historically, such assessments were conducted under individual information collection authorizations obtained by BIS from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a process that can require a considerable amount of time. The reason for OMB authorization was to obtain permission under the Paperwork Reduction Act to collect sensitive business information obtained with a mandatory survey of an industry sector or technology deemed critical to the nation’s security. Often BIS will submit similar survey instruments in support of each unique assessment, the primary difference being the industry or technology being evaluated. The use of a generic clearance process (fast-track) allows BIS to conduct the data collection and final assessments in a shorter timeframe, thus providing policy and program offices with needed results in a timely manner.

Most surveys under this generic clearance include questions necessary to obtain data on employment, supply chain, financial performance, production, technology and service capabilities, R&D, investment, competitive outlook, export controls and other relevant information. Some surveys include a few non-standard questions, depending on the industry and the needs of the partner agency.
 
BIS utilizes the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), as amended, to both collect and protect the business proprietary information submitted by the survey respondents. Executive Orders 1256 and 13603 delegate to the Department of Commerce the authority to assess the capabilities of the U.S. industrial base to support the national defense and defense program needs, and develop policy recommendations to improve the international competitiveness of specific domestic industries.

By conducting these surveys and assessments in cooperation with experts from the private sector, academia and other government agencies, BIS ensures that its assessments are relevant and provide useful findings and recommendations for both policy makers and industry leaders.

The following survey-based assessments were conducted since the previous extension approval:

U.S. Air Force Supply Chain
Integrated Circuit Design and Manufacture
Critical Facilities/DD-254
Rocket Propulsion
C-17 Aircraft Supply Chain
Bare Printed Circuit Boards
Underwater Acoustics Transducers
Cost-Metrics and Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages
Space Industry ‘Deep Dive’
Electro-Optical (EO) Satellite Imagery
 
The collected information is used by BIS’s Office of Technology Evaluation (OTE) to prepare an assessment of the financial health, production capabilities and competitiveness of the identified industry sector or technology area. Data elements of OTE survey-based assessments are typically comprised of employment, financial performance, supply chain, production, R&D, investment, export control, competitive outlook, technology and service capability, and foreign sourcing practices of domestic facilities engaged in activity related to defense programs and overall national security. This may include both prime contractor and subcontractor entities, and limited public entities and organizations.   
 
BIS surveys usually request three years of historical data, and estimated data for a single year into the future. BIS typically conducts a survey and furnishes a final report within 12 to 18 months of the formal request.

BIS Industrial Base Assessments: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/other-areas/office-of-technology-evaluation-ote/industrial-base-assessments
Technical documentation: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2q36wfgxaiowabf/AAAC5mpdFltnVsWS-IhWnipKa?dl=0
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-07062

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