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Federal Acquisition Regulation; Service Contract Act, Commercial Item Subcontracts

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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

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


Final rule.


The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) required the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) to include a list of laws that are inapplicable to subcontracts for the procurement of commercial items in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The list was implemented and included the Service Contract Act (SCA). The FAR Council has reconsidered this issue and is removing the SCA from the list of laws inapplicable to subcontracts for commercial items.


August 25, 2000.

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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 Ms. Linda Klein at (202) 501-3775. Please cite FAC 97-19, FAR case 1998-605.

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A. Background

Section 8003(b) of FASA required the FAR Council to include in the FAR a list of existing provisions of law that are inapplicable to subcontracts for commercial items. FASA defined those laws to be any provision of law, as determined by the FAR Council, that sets forth policies, provisions, requirements, or restrictions for the procurement of property or services, except those that provided for criminal or civil penalties or were specifically by law made applicable to contracts for the procurement of commercial items. In implementing this section of FASA, the FAR Council included the SCA on the list of laws inapplicable to commercial subcontracts in the final FAR rule (60 FR 48231, September 18, 1995).

In the period since publication of the FAR rule, the FAR Council, in consultation with the Department of Labor (DoL), has concluded that it is not in the best interest of the Government to retain the SCA on the list of laws that are inapplicable to all subcontracts for commercial items. The FAR Council agrees that any exemption from the coverage of the SCA for subcontracts for the acquisition of commercial items or components should be accomplished under the Secretary of Labor's authority in the SCA.

The FAR Council has forwarded recommendations to the Secretary of Labor for consideration in formulating a proposed rule regarding exemptions from coverage under the SCA for commercial items. When the proposal is finalized, DoL will publish the proposed rule, to be issued under the Secretary's authority, in the Federal Register for public comment. Following the completion of that rulemaking, the FAR will be amended accordingly.

With respect to other labor laws, the Walsh-Healey Act and the certification and contract clause requirements of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act were made inapplicable to commercial item contracts by the September 18, 1995, FAR final rule referenced above. However, the Walsh-Healey Act and the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act provide statutory exemptions for purchases in the open market. The listing of these statutes in the FAR with respect to their inapplicability to commercial item contracts was designed to reflect the existing statutory open market exemptions.

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 final rule does not constitute a significant FAR revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501 and Public Law 98-577, and publication for public comments is not required. However, the Councils will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected FAR parts 12 and 52 in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. (FAC 97-19, FAR case 1998-605), in correspondence.

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.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 12 and 52

  • Government procurement
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Dated: July 19, 2000.

Edward C. Loeb,

Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division.

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Therefore, 48 CFR parts 12 and 52 are amended as set forth below:

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1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 12 and 52 continues to read as follows:

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

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2. Amend section 12.504 by removing paragraph (a)(7) and redesignating paragraphs (a)(8) through (a)(12) as (a)(7) through (a)(11), respectively.

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3. Amend section 52.212-5 by revising the clause date to read “(AUG 2000)”; in paragraph (e)(3) by removing “and”; in paragraph (e)(4) by removing the period at the end and adding “; and”; and by adding paragraph (e)(5) to read as follows:

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Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders—Commercial Items.
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(5) 52.222-41, Service Contract Act of 1965, As Amended (41 U.S.C. 351, et seq.).

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[FR Doc. 00-18671 Filed 7-25-00; 8:45 am]