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Rule

Federal Acquisition Regulation; Acquisition of Commercial Items

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 two statutory changes to the definition and application of “Commercial Items”: Section 803(a)(2)(D) of the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 to revise the definition of “commercial item” to provide specific guidance on the meaning and appropriate application of the terms “purposes other than government purposes” at 41 U.S.C. 403(12)(A); and Section 805 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 to clarify the definition of “commercial item” with respect to associated services.

The final rule also makes changes related to the acquisition of commercial items, including conforming the coverage regarding contractor liability for property loss or damage to commercial practice.

DATES:

Effective Date: December 21, 2001.

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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 Ms. Victoria Moss, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-4764. Please cite FAC 2001-01, FAR case 2000-303.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 12, Acquisition of Commercial Items, was developed to implement Title VIII of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) (Pub. L. 103-355). The regulations became effective on October 1, 1995.

The final rule revises—

  • Paragraph (a) of the “commercial item” definition at FAR 2.101 and the corresponding definition in the clause at FAR 52.202-1, and FAR 12.102 to implement Section 803(a)(2)(D) of the Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999 (Pub. L. 105-261). Section 803(a)(2)(D) requires that the FAR be revised to provide specific guidance on the meaning and appropriate application of the term “purposes other than government purposes” in the definition of “commercial item” at 41 U.S.C. 403(12)(A);
  • Paragraph (e) of the “commercial item” definition at FAR 2.101 to implement Section 805 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Pub. L. 106-65) (Clarification of Definition of Commercial Items with Respect to Associated Services). Section 805 clarifies that services ancillary to a commercial item, such as installation, maintenance, repair, training, and other support services, are considered a commercial service, regardless of whether the service is provided by the same vendor or at the same time as the item, if the service is provided contemporaneously to the general public under similar terms and conditions. The FAR clause at 52.202-1, Definitions, is similarly revised to make the new definition available to contractors and subcontractors;
  • Paragraph (f) of the “commercial item” definition at FAR 2.101 to add definitions of “catalog price” and “market price” which provide guidance for identifying services that may be acquired under FAR Part 12;
  • FAR 12.209 to add guidance concerning customary commercial terms and conditions related to the determination of price reasonableness when pricing commercial items;
  • Subpart 46.8 to reconcile it with the coverage regarding contractor liability for property loss or damage with paragraph (p) in the clause at 52.212-4; and
  • Paragraph (p) in the clause at 52.212-4 to conform to commercial practice (i.e., deleting the phrase “or implied” permits industry to take advantage of the latitude provided by the Uniform Commercial Code which Start Printed Page 53484allows sellers to exclude the application of an implied warranty through the terms of an express warranty).

DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 65 FR 52284, August 28, 2000. Six sources submitted comments in response to the proposed rule. The FAR Council considered all comments in the development of 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 Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration certify that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because changes made by the rule will primarily affect large businesses that are more likely than small businesses to have separate workforces for Federal contracts and to be ultimately liable for consequential damages. It clarifies the definition of commercial item to more closely parallel the statutory language and provide guidance for identifying services that may be acquired under FAR Part 12. The rule further conforms language regarding contractor liability to commercial practice.

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 2, 12, 46, and 52

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Dated: October 12, 2001.

Al Matera,

Director, 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 2—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS

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2. In section 2.101, amend the definition “Commercial item” by revising the introductory text of paragraph (1), and paragraphs (5) and (6) to read as follows:

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Definitions.
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Commercial item means—

(1) Any item, other than real property, that is of a type customarily used by the general public or by non-governmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes, and—

* * * * *

(5) Installation services, maintenance services, repair services, training services, and other services if—

(i) Such services are procured for support of an item referred to in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this definition, regardless of whether such services are provided by the same source or at the same time as the item; and

(ii) The source of such services provides similar services contemporaneously to the general public under terms and conditions similar to those offered to the Federal Government;

(6) Services of a type offered and sold competitively in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace based on established catalog or market prices for specific tasks performed under standard commercial terms and conditions. This does not include services that are sold based on hourly rates without an established catalog or market price for a specific service performed. For purposes of these services—

(i) Catalog price means a price included in a catalog, price list, schedule, or other form that is regularly maintained by the manufacturer or vendor, is either published or otherwise available for inspection by customers, and states prices at which sales are currently, or were last, made to a significant number of buyers constituting the general public; and

(ii) Market prices means current prices that are established in the course of ordinary trade between buyers and sellers free to bargain and that can be substantiated through competition or from sources independent of the offerors.

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PART 12—ACQUISITION OF COMMERCIAL ITEMS

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3. Amend section 12.102 by redesignating paragraph (d) as paragraph (e) and by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows:

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Applicability.
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(d) The definition of commercial item in section 2.101 uses the phrase “purposes other than governmental purposes.” These purposes are those that are not unique to a government.

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4. Revise section 12.209 to read as follows:

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Determination of price reasonableness.

While the contracting officer must establish price reasonableness in accordance with 13.106-3, 14.408-2, or subpart 15.4, as applicable, the contracting officer should be aware of customary commercial terms and conditions when pricing commercial items. Commercial item prices are affected by factors that include, but are not limited to, speed of delivery, length and extent of warranty, limitations of seller's liability, quantities ordered, length of the performance period, and specific performance requirements. The contracting officer must ensure that contract terms, conditions, and prices are commensurate with the Government's need.

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PART 46—QUALITY ASSURANCE

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5. In section 46.801, revise the last sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:

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Applicability.

(a) * * * This subpart does not apply to commercial items.

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[Removed and Reserved]
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6. Remove and reserve section 46.804.

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PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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7. In section 52.202-1, revise the date of the clause and paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(5), and (c)(6) to read as follows:

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Definitions.
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Definitions (Dec 2001)

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(c) * * *

(1) Any item, other than real property, that is of a type customarily used by the general public or by non-governmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes, and that—

(i) Has been sold, leased, or licensed to the general public; or

(ii) Has been offered for sale, lease, or license to the general public;

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(5) Installation services, maintenance services, repair services, training services, and other services if—

(i) Such services are procured for support of an item referred to in paragraph (c)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this definition, regardless of whether such services are provided by the same source or at the same time as the item; and

(ii) The source of such services provides similar services contemporaneously to the general public under terms and conditions similar to those offered to the Federal Government;

(6) Services of a type offered and sold competitively in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace based on established catalog or market prices for specific tasks performed under standard commercial terms and conditions. This does not include services that are sold based on hourly rates without an established catalog or market price for a specific service performed. For purposes of these services—

(i) Catalog price means a price included in a catalog, price list, schedule, or other form that is regularly maintained by the manufacturer or vendor, is either published or otherwise available for inspection by customers, and states prices at which sales are currently, or were last, made to a significant number of buyers constituting the general public; and

(ii) Market prices means current prices that are established in the course of ordinary trade between buyers and sellers free to bargain and that can be substantiated through competition or from sources independent of the offerors.

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[Amended]
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8. Amend section 52.212-4 by revising the date in the clause heading to read “(Dec 2001)”; and by removing “or implied” from paragraph (p).

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[FR Doc. 01-26297 Filed 10-19-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P