This bill, S. 473, sponsored by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), is also known as the American Security Drone Act of 2023.
This bill prohibits the federal government from procuring or using unmanned aircraft (UAS) manufactured or assembled by certain foreign entities. These entities include those that are subject to influence or control by China. However, there are exceptions to this ban as outlined in the bill.
The ban includes associated elements related to collecting and transmitting sensitive information (consisting of communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft) that enable the operator to operate the aircraft in the National Airspace System. The Federal Acquisition Security Council, in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation, shall develop and update a list of associated elements.
The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Justice are exempt from the restriction under specified circumstances. The bill sets forth further exemptions regarding the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
The bill requires all executive agencies to account for existing inventories of UAS manufactured or assembled by a covered foreign entity in their personal property accounting systems.
The bill imposes additional restrictions on using government-issued purchase cards for acquiring UAS from covered foreign entities. It also mandates the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to develop a government-wide policy for UAS procurement, considering factors such as information security.
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