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Federal Acquisition Regulation; Construction Industry Payment Protection Act of 1999

Document Details

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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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 the Construction Industry Payment Protection (CIPP) Act of 1999. The CIPP Act amends the Miller Act to provide that the amount of a payment bond must equal the total amount payable by the terms of the contract, unless the contracting officer determines that a payment bond in that amount is impractical. The final rule also provides enhanced payment protection for Government contracts not subject to the Miller Act.

DATES:

Effective Date: July 26, 2000.

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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, Start Printed Page 46070at (202) 501-1758. Please cite FAC   97-19, FAR case 1999-302.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

This final rule amends FAR 28.102 and the clauses at 52.228-13, 52.228-15, and 52.228-16 to implement the CIPP Act (Pub. L. 106-49) and to enhance payment protection for Government contracts not subject to the Miller Act.

The Miller Act (40 U.S.C. 270a, et seq.) requires contractors performing Government construction contracts that exceed $100,000 to furnish performance and payment bonds. Previously, the required payment bond did not exceed 50 percent of the contract price, and was capped at a ceiling of $2.5 million.

The CIPP Act substitutes a requirement that the payment bond generally must equal the contract price. In addition, the CIPP Act makes two procedural changes to the Miller Act, adding a requirement regarding subcontractor waiver of the right to sue on the payment bond, and modernizing the requirements for the delivery of notice by subcontractors having right of action on the payment bond.

DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 64 FR 72828, December 28, 1999. Ten respondents submitted comments on the proposed rule. The Councils have considered all of these comments in formulation of the final rule.

The final rule makes minor editorial changes to the clause prescriptions at FAR 28.102-3, and includes additional information in the clause at FAR 52.228-15, Performance and Payment Bonds—Construction, providing notice of limitations on subcontractor waiver of protection (40 U.S.C. 270b(c)).

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) consistent with 5 U.S.C. 604. Interested parties may obtain a copy of the FRFA from the FAR Secretariat. The FRFA is summarized as follows:

The primary objective of this rule is to enhance payment protection for subcontractors that furnish labor or materials on Government construction contracts. There were no issues raised by the public in response to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. The rule will require all contractors to which the Government awards construction contracts exceeding $25,000 to obtain a payment bond equal to the contract price, unless the contracting officer determines that to be impractical or unnecessary. The rule is expected to benefit subcontractors seeking payment, without resulting in substantial price increases for the prime contractor obtaining the increased payment protection. We estimate that the Executive branch of the Government annually awards 54,000 construction contracts exceeding $25,000, of which half (27,000 contracts) are awarded to approximately 7,500 small business firms. We estimate that approximately 60,000 small business subcontractors could benefit from increased payment protection.

The FAR Secretariat has submitted a copy of the FRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

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 28 and 52

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Dated: July 19, 2000.

Edward C. Loeb,

Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend

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1. The authority citation for

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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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PART 28—BONDS AND INSURANCE

[Amended]
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2. Amend section 28.101-2 in the first sentence of paragraph (b) by removing “(see 28.102-2(c))” and adding in its place “(see 28.102-2(a))”.

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3. Revise section 28.102-2 to read as follows:

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Amount required.

(a) Definition. As used in this subsection—

Original contract price means the award price of the contract; or, for requirements contracts, the price payable for the estimated total quantity; or, for indefinite-quantity contracts, the price payable for the specified minimum quantity. Original contract price does not include the price of any options, except those options exercised at the time of contract award.

(b) Contracts exceeding $100,000 (Miller Act).

(1) Performance bonds. Unless the contracting officer determines that a lesser amount is adequate for the protection of the Government, the penal amount of performance bonds must equal—

(i) 100 percent of the original contract price; and

(ii) If the contract price increases, an additional amount equal to 100 percent of the increase.

(2) Payment bonds. (i) Unless the contracting officer makes a written determination supported by specific findings that a payment bond in this amount is impractical, the amount of the payment bond must equal—

(A) 100 percent of the original contract price; and

(B) If the contract price increases, an additional amount equal to 100 percent of the increase.

(ii) The amount of the payment bond must be no less than the amount of the performance bond.

(c) Contracts exceeding $25,000 but not exceeding $100,000. Unless the contracting officer determines that a lesser amount is adequate for the protection of the Government, the penal amount of the payment bond or the amount of alternative payment protection must equal—

(1) 100 percent of the original contract price; and

(2) If the contract price increases, an additional amount equal to 100 percent of the increase.

(d) Securing additional payment protection. If the contract price increases, the Government must secure any needed additional protection by directing the contractor to—

(1) Increase the penal sum of the existing bond;

(2) Obtain an additional bond; or

(3) Furnish additional alternative payment protection.

(e) Reducing amounts. The contracting officer may reduce the amount of security to support a bond, subject to the conditions of 28.203-5(c) or 28.204(b).

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4. In section 28.102-3, revise the section heading and paragraph (a); and add a sentence to the end of paragraph (b) to read as follows:

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Contract clauses.

(a) Insert a clause substantially the same as the clause at 52.228-15, Performance and Payment Bonds—Construction, in solicitations and contracts for construction that contain a requirement for performance and Start Printed Page 46071payment bonds if the resultant contract is expected to exceed $100,000. The contracting officer may revise paragraphs (b)(1) and/or (b)(2) of the clause to establish a lower percentage in accordance with 28.102-2(b). If the provision at 52.228-1 is not included in the solicitation, the contracting officer must set a period of time for return of executed bonds.

(b) * * * The contracting officer may revise paragraph (b) of the clause to establish a lower percentage in accordance with 28.102-2(c).

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PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

[Amended]
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5. Amend section 52.228-13 by revising the date of the clause to read “(July 2000)”; and in paragraph (b) of the clause by removing “50” and adding “100” in its place.

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6. Revise section 52.228-15 to read as follows:

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Performance and Payment Bonds—Construction.

As prescribed in 28.102-3(a), insert a clause substantially as follows:

Performance and Payment Bonds— Construction (July 2000)

(a) Definitions. As used in this clause—

Original contract price means the award price of the contract; or, for requirements contracts, the price payable for the estimated total quantity; or, for indefinite-quantity contracts, the price payable for the specified minimum quantity. Original contract price does not include the price of any options, except those options exercised at the time of contract award.

(b) Amount of required bonds. Unless the resulting contract price is $100,000 or less, the successful offeror shall furnish performance and payment bonds to the Contracting Officer as follows:

(1) Performance bonds (Standard Form 25). The penal amount of performance bonds at the time of contract award shall be 100 percent of the original contract price.

(2) Payment Bonds (Standard Form 25-A). The penal amount of payment bonds at the time of contract award shall be 100 percent of the original contract price.

(3) Additional bond protection. (i) The Government may require additional performance and payment bond protection if the contract price is increased. The increase in protection generally will equal 100 percent of the increase in contract price.

(ii) The Government may secure the additional protection by directing the Contractor to increase the penal amount of the existing bond or to obtain an additional bond.

(c) Furnishing executed bonds. The Contractor shall furnish all executed bonds, including any necessary reinsurance agreements, to the Contracting Officer, within the time period specified in the Bid Guarantee provision of the solicitation, or otherwise specified by the Contracting Officer, but in any event, before starting work.

(d) Surety or other security for bonds. The bonds shall be in the form of firm commitment, supported by corporate sureties whose names appear on the list contained in Treasury Department Circular 570, individual sureties, or by other acceptable security such as postal money order, certified check, cashier's check, irrevocable letter of credit, or, in accordance with Treasury Department regulations, certain bonds or notes of the United States. Treasury Circular 570 is published in the Federal Register or may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Treasury, Financial Management Service, Surety Bond Branch, 401 14th Street, NW, 2nd Floor, West Wing, Washington, DC 20227.

(e) Notice of subcontractor waiver of protection (40 U.S.C. 270b(c). Any waiver of the right to sue on the payment bond is void unless it is in writing, signed by the person whose right is waived, and executed after such person has first furnished labor or material for use in the performance of the contract.

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7. In section 52.228-16, revise the date of the clause and paragraph (a); in paragraph (b) add “original” before the word “contract”, twice; and revise paragraph (d) and Alternate I to read as follows:

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Performance and Payment Bonds—Other Than Construction.
* * * * *

Performance and Payment—Bonds Other Than Construction (July 2000)

(a) Definitions. As used in this clause—

Original contract price means the award price of the contract or, for requirements contracts, the price payable for the estimated quantity; or, for indefinite-quantity contracts, the price payable for the specified minimum quantity. Original contract price does not include the price of any options, except those options exercised at the time of contract award.

* * * * *

(d) The Government may require additional performance and payment bond protection if the contract price is increased. The Government may secure the additional protection by directing the Contractor to increase the penal amount of the existing bonds or to obtain additional bonds.

* * * * *

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Alternate I (July 2000). As prescribed in 28.103-4, substitute the following paragraphs (b) and (d) for paragraphs (b) and (d) of the basic clause:

(b) The Contractor shall furnish a performance bond (Standard Form 1418) for the protection to the Government in an amount equal to __ percent of the original contract price.

(d) The Government may require additional performance bond protection if the contract price is increased. The Government may secure the additional protection by directing the Contractor to increase the penal amount of the existing bond or to obtain an additional bond.

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[FR Doc. 00-18673 Filed 7-25-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P