Skip to Content

Rule

Federal Acquisition Regulation; Contract Bundling

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCIES:

Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed on a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement Sections 411-417 of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997. Sections 411-417 amend Title 15 of the United States Code to define “contract bundling,” and to require agencies to avoid unnecessary bundling that precludes small business participation in the performance of Federal contracts.

DATES:

Effective Date: July 26, 2000.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The FAR Secretariat, Room 4035, GS Building, Washington, DC, 20405, (202) 501-4755, for information pertaining to status or publication schedules. For clarification of content, contact Mr. Ralph De Stefano, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-1758. Please cite FAC 97-19, FAR case 1997-306. Start Printed Page 46054

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

DoD, GSA, and NASA published an interim rule in the Federal Register at 64 FR 72441, December 27, 1999. The interim rule is converted to a final rule, with changes, and amends FAR Parts 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 19 to implement Sections 411-417 of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105-135, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) interim rule published in the Federal Register at 64 FR 57366, October 25, 1999.

We received comments from six respondents in response to the interim rule and considered them in drafting the final rule.

This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., applies to this final rule. The Councils prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA). The FAR Secretariat has submitted a copy of the FRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. The FRFA is summarized as follows:

This rule amends FAR Parts 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 19 to implement Sections 411-417 of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105-135. Sections 411-417 amend Title 15 of the United States Code to define “contract bundling,” and to require agencies to avoid unnecessary bundling that precludes small business participation in the performance of Federal contracts.

The objective of the rule is to establish agency procedures for processing bundled requirements and to ensure maximum small business participation in bundled acquisitions. Agencies must—

  • Perform market research when bundled requirements are anticipated;
  • Justify bundling in acquisition strategies;
  • Meet specific estimated benefit thresholds before bundling requirements;
  • Assess the impact of bundling on small businesses;
  • Submit solicitations containing bundled requirements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) procurement center representatives for review; and
  • Include, in negotiated competitions for bundled requirements, a source selection factor for the offerors' proposed use of small businesses as subcontractors and their past performance in meeting subcontracting goals.

These objectives are stated in Sections 411-417 of Pub. L. 105-135 and in SBA's implementing regulations, published in the Federal Register at 64 FR 57366, October 25, 1999. We published an interim rule in the Federal Register at 64 FR 72441, December 27, 1999. Six respondents provided public comments. There are no practical alternatives that will accomplish the objective of this rule (i.e., to ensure maximum participation of small businesses in Federal contracting as agencies combine requirements in the face of downsizing and other cost-saving measures). No viable alternatives were proposed during the public comment period.

Interested parties may obtain a copy of the FRFA from the FAR Secretariat.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to the FAR do not impose information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 48 CFR parts 2, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 19

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: July 19, 2000.

Edward C. Loeb,

Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division.

End Signature

Interim Rule Adopted as Final With Changes

Start Amendment Part

Accordingly, DoD, GSA, and NASA adopt the interim rule amending

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 U.S.C. 2473(c).

End Authority Start Part

PART 2—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS

End Part Start Amendment Part

2. Amend section 2.101 by revising the definition “Bundled contract” to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Definitions.
* * * * *

Bundled contract means a contract where the requirements have been consolidated by bundling. (See the definition of bundling.)

* * * * *
Start Part

PART 5—PUBLICIZING CONTRACT ACTIONS

End Part Start Amendment Part

3. In section 5.206, revise the introductory text of paragraph (a) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Notices of subcontracting opportunities.

(a) The following entities may use a CBD notice to seek competition for subcontracts, to increase participation by qualified HUBZone small business, small, small disadvantaged, and small women-owned business concerns, and to meet established subcontracting plan goals:

* * * * *
Start Part

PART 7—ACQUISITION PLANNING

End Part Start Amendment Part

4. Amend section 7.107 by revising the section heading and paragraphs (b)(2) and (h) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Additional requirements for acquisitions involving bundling.
* * * * *

(b) * * *

(2) Five percent of the estimated contract value (including options) or $7.5 million, whichever is greater, if the value exceeds $75 million.

* * * * *

(h) The requirements of this section, except for paragraph (e), do not apply if a cost comparison analysis will be performed in accordance with OMB Circular A-76.

Start Part

PART 10—MARKET RESEARCH

End Part Start Amendment Part

5. In section 10.001, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Policy.
* * * * *

(c) If an agency contemplates awarding a bundled contract, the agency—

(1) When performing market research, should consult with the local Small Business Administration procurement center representative (PCR) or, if a PCR is not assigned to the procuring activity, the SBA Office of Government Contracting Area Office serving the area in which the procuring activity is located; and

(2) At least 30 days before release of the solicitation—

(i) Must notify any affected incumbent small business concerns of the Government's intention to bundle the requirement; and

(ii) Should notify any affected incumbent small business concerns of how the concerns may contact the appropriate Small Business Administration representative.

Start Part

PART 15—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION

End Part Start Amendment Part

6. Amend section 15.305 by revising paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Proposal evaluation.

(a) * * *

(5) Small business subcontracting evaluation. Solicitations must be structured to give offers from small Start Printed Page 46055business concerns the highest rating for the evaluation factors in 15.304(c)(3)(iii) and (c)(5).

* * * * *
Start Part

PART 19—SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS

End Part Start Amendment Part

7. Amend section 19.101 by adding paragraph (g)(5) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Explanation of terms.
* * * * *

(g) * * *

(5) Size determination for teaming arrangements. For size determination purposes, apply the size standard tests in (g)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section when a teaming arrangement of two or more business concerns submits an offer, as appropriate.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

8. Amend section 19.202-1 by revising paragraph (e)(1)(iii) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Encouraging small business participation in acquisitions.
* * * * *

(e) * * *

(1) * * *

(iii) The proposed acquisition is for a bundled requirement. (See 10.001(c)(2)(i) for mandatory 30-day notice requirement to incumbent small business concerns.)

* * * * *
End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 00-18668 Filed 7-25-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P