Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Direct final rule.
EPA is taking direct final action on amending the EPA Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) to comport with changes made to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 97-15 dated December 27, 1999 (FAR Case 98-017). The changes to the FAR were made to implement the rulings of the United States Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Federal Claims that the Contracts Disputes Act applies to all disputes arising under Government contracts, unless a more specific statute provides for other remedies.
This rule is effective on August 16, 2000, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments by June 19, 2000. If we receive adverse comments, we will, before the rule's effective date, publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take effect.
Written comments should be submitted to the contact listed below at the following address: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Acquisition Management (3802R), Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20460. Comments and data may also be submitted electronically by sending electronic mail (e-mail) to: email@example.com. Electronic comments must be submitted as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Comments and data will also be accepted on disks in Corel WordPerfect format or ASCII file format. No confidential business information (CBI) should be submitted through e-mail. Electronic comments on this rule may be filed on-line at many Federal Depository Libraries.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jean Rellins, U.S. EPA, Office of Acquisition Management, (3802R), Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, Telephone: (202) 564-4434.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Why is EPA utilizing a direct final rule to revise an EPAAR clause? Federal Acquisition Circular 97-15 amended the FAR to implement the rulings of the United States Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Federal Claims (Burnside-Ott case) that the Contract Disputes Act applies to all disputes arising under Government contracts, unless a more specific statute provides for other remedies. This direct final rule is being published without prior proposal because we view this as a non-controversial change to the EPAAR intended to make the EPAAR consistent with the FAR. We do not anticipate any adverse comments. This rule will be effective on August 16, 2000, without further notice unless we receive adverse comments by June 19, 2000. If EPA receives adverse comments, we will, Start Printed Page 31499before the rule's effective date, publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. We also will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in a future edition of the Federal Register. We will address the comments on the direct final rule as part of that proposed rulemaking.
B. Executive Order 12866
This direct final rule is not a significant regulatory action for the purposes of Executive Order 12866; therefore, no review is required by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
C. Paperwork Reduction Act
The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because this direct final rule does not contain information collection requirements that require the approval of OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
D. Regulatory Flexibility Act
The EPA certifies that this direct final rule does not exert a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The requirements to contractors under the rule impose no reporting, record keeping, or any compliance costs.
E. Unfunded Mandates
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess their regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments, and the private sector. This direct final rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector in one year. Any private sector costs for this action relate to paperwork requirements and associated expenditures that are far below the level established for UMRA applicability. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.
Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets both criteria, the Agency must evaluate the environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain why the planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the Agency.
This rule is not subject to E.O. 13045 because it is not an economically significant rule as defined by E.O. 12866, and because it does not involve decisions on environmental health or safety risks.
Executive Order 13132 entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.”
Under Section 6 of Executive Order 13132, EPA may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or EPA consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. EPA also may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications and that preempts State law, unless the Agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation.
This direct final rule does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132. This direct final rule merely changes the EPAAR to be consistent with the FAR. Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply to this rule.
Under E.O. 13084, EPA may not issue a regulation that is not required by statute, that significantly or uniquely affects the communities of Indian Tribal governments, and that imposes substantial direct compliance costs on those communities, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by Tribal governments, or EPA consults with those governments. If EPA complies by consulting, E.O. 13084 requires EPA to provide to the OMB, in a separately identified section of the preamble to the rule, a description of the extent of EPA's prior consultation with representatives of affected Tribal governments, a summary of the nature of their concerns, and a statement supporting the need to issue the regulation. In addition, E.O. 13084 requires EPA to develop an effective process permitting elected and other representatives of Indian Tribal government “to provide meaningful and timely input in the development of regulatory policies on matters that significantly or uniquely affect their communities.”
Today's rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Indian Tribal governments. Accordingly, the requirements of section 3(b) of E.O. 13084 do not apply to this rule.
I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995
Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impracticable. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
This rule does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA did not consider the use of any voluntary consensus standards.
J. Submission to Congress and the General Accounting Office
The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rules report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General Start Printed Page 31500of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).Start Amendment Part
Accordingly, under the authority ofEnd Amendment Part Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 1516 and 1552End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 1516 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
2. Section 1516.405 is amended by revising paragraph (a) as follows:End Amendment Part
(a) The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 1552.216-70, Award fee (May 2000), in solicitations and contracts where a cost-plus-award-fee contract is contemplated.
3. The authority citation for part 1552 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
4. Section 1552.216-70 is amended by revising the prescription date from (SEPT 1995) to (May 2000), and revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(b) Award fee determinations made by the Government under this contract are unilaterally determined by the Fee Determination Official (FDO). The amount of the award fee to be paid is determined by the Government's judgmental evaluation of the contractor's performance in terms of the criteria stated in the contract. This determination and the methodology for determining the award fee are unilateral decisions made solely at the discretion of the Government.
Dated: April 28, 2000.
Betty L. Bailey,
Director, Office of Acquisition Management.
[FR Doc. 00-12022 Filed 5-17-00; 8:45 am]
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