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Federal Acquisition Regulation; Prompt Payment Under Cost-Reimbursement Contracts for Services

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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:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed on an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require agencies to pay an interest penalty whenever they make an interim payment under a cost-reimbursement contract for services more than 30 days after the agency receives a proper invoice from the contractor.

DATES:

Effective Date: October 22, 2001.

Applicability Date: This amendment is applicable to solicitations issued and contracts awarded on or after October 22, 2001. Any cost reimbursement solicitations issued or contracts awarded for services on or after December 15, 2000, but prior to October 22, 2001 must be amended/modified to incorporate the new Alternate I to 52.232-25. In no event may agencies pay late payment penalty interest for any delay in payment that occurred prior to December 15, 2000.

Comment Date: Interested parties should submit comments to the FAR Secretariat at the address shown below on or before December 21, 2001 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments to: General Services Administration, FAR Secretariat (MVP), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, Attn: Ms. Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405. Submit electronic comments via the Internet to: farcase.2000-308@gsa.gov

Please submit comments only and cite FAC 2001-01, FAR case 2000-308, in all correspondence related to this case.

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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. Jeremy Olson at (202) 501-3221. Please cite FAC 2001—01, FAR case 2000-308.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

This FAR amendment implements changes in the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Prompt Payment Act regulations at 5 CFR part 1315 that implemented Section 1010 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001. Those changes were published by OMB as an interim final rule and became effective on December 15, 2000 (65 FR 78403). Section 1010 requires agencies to pay an interest penalty, in accordance with regulations issued, whenever an interim payment under a cost-reimbursement contract for services is paid more than 30 days after the agency receives a proper invoice from a contractor. The Act does not permit payment of late payment interest penalty for any period prior to December 15, 2000.

This FAR amendment eliminates the prior policy and contract clause prohibitions on payment of late payment penalty interest for late interim finance payments under cost reimbursement contracts for services. It adds new policy and a contract clause, Alternate I to 52.232-25, to provide for those penalty payments. The policy and clause apply to all covered contracts awarded on or after December 15, 2000. OMB's regulation states that agencies, at their discretion, may apply the revisions made by Section 1010 to interim payment requests received under cost-reimbursement contracts for services awarded prior to December 15, 2000. Accordingly, agencies may apply the FAR changes made by this rule to contracts awarded prior to December 15, 2000, at their discretion provided no late payment interest penalty is paid for any period prior to December 15, 2000.

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 interim rule is not expected to 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 the number of small entities receiving awards of cost-reimbursement contracts for services is very low compared to the number of fixed-price-type contracts awarded. Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has not been performed. The Councils will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected FAR Parts 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 2001-01, FAR case 2000-308), 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. Start Printed Page 53486

D. Determination to Issue an Interim Rule

A determination has been made under the authority of the Secretary of Defense (DoD), the Administrator of General Services (GSA), and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that urgent and compelling reasons exist to promulgate this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. This action is necessary because the amendments to the controlling regulation issued by OMB (5 CFR part 1315, 65 FR 78403) became effective on December 15, 2000. (Section 1010 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001, which required OMB to issue the regulation, was effective December 15, 2000.) This amendment to the FAR is necessary to enable agencies to comply with OMB's interim final rule in the most effective and consistent manner possible.

Pursuant to Public Law 98-577 and FAR 1.501, the Councils will consider public comments received in response to this interim rule in the formation of the final rule. In addition, this interim rule will be revised, as necessary, to reflect any changes OMB may make to its regulations in promulgating a final rule.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 2, 32 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

[Amended]

2. In section 2.101, amend the definition “Proper invoice” by removing “32.905(e)” and adding “32.905(f)” in its place.

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PART 32—CONTRACT FINANCING

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3. Amend section 32.902 in the definition “Contract financing payment” by revising the second sentence; revising the definition “Invoice payment”; and in the definition “Receiving report” by removing “32.905(f)” and adding “32.905(g)” in its place. The revised text reads as follows:

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Definitions.

* * * Contract financing payments include advance payments, progress payments based on cost under the clause at 52.232-16, Progress Payments, progress payments based on a percentage or stage of completion (see 32.102(e)(1)) other than those made under the clause at 52.232-5, Payments Under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts, or the clause at 52.232-10, Payments Under Fixed-Price Architect-Engineer Contracts, and interim payments on cost-type contracts other than contracts for services. * * *

* * * * *

Invoice payment means a Government disbursement of monies to a contractor under a contract or other authorization for supplies or services accepted by the Government.

(1) This includes payments for partial deliveries that have been accepted by the Government and final cost or fee payments where amounts owed have been settled between the Government and the contractor.

(2) For purposes of this subpart, invoice payments also include all payments made under the clause at 52.232-5, Payments Under Fixed-Price Construction Contracts, the clause at 52.232-10, Payments Under Fixed-Price Architect-Engineer Contracts, or the clause at 52.232-25, Prompt Payment, when Alternate I is used for interim payments on cost-reimbursement contracts for services.

(3) Invoice payments do not include contract financing payments.

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4. Amend section 32.905 by—

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a. Removing from the introductory text of paragraph (a)“paragraphs (b), (c), and (d)” and adding “paragraphs (b) through (e)” in its place;

b. Redesignating paragraphs (e) through (j) as (f) through (k), respectively, and adding a new paragraph (e);

c. Revising the introductory text of newly designated paragraph (f); and

d. Revising the first sentence of the introductory text of newly designated paragraph (g) to read as follows:

Invoice payments.
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(e) Cost-reimbursement contracts for services. For purposes of computing late payment interest penalties that may apply, the due date for making interim payments on cost-reimbursement contracts for services is 30 days after the date of receipt of a proper invoice.

(f) Content of invoices. A proper invoice must include the items listed in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(8) of this section, except for interim payments on cost-reimbursement contracts for services. An interim payment request under a cost-reimbursement contract for services constitutes a proper invoice for purposes of this subpart if it includes all the information required by the contract. If the invoice does not comply with these requirements, it will be returned within 7 days after the date the designated billing office received the invoice (3 days on contracts for meat, meat food products, or fish; 5 days on contracts for perishable agricultural commodities, dairy products, edible fats or oils, and food products prepared from edible fats or oils), with a statement of the reasons why it is not a proper invoice. If such notice is not timely, then an adjusted due date for the purpose of determining an interest penalty, if any, will be established in accordance with 32.907-1(b):

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(g) Authorization to pay. All invoice payments, with the exception of interim payments on cost-reimbursement contracts for services, must be supported by a receiving report or any other Government documentation authorizing payment. * * *

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5. Amend section 32.907-1 by adding paragraph (a)(5); and in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) by removing “32.905(e)” and adding “32.905(f)” in its place. The added text reads as follows:

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Late invoice payment.

(a) * * *

(5) In the case of interim payments on cost-reimbursement contracts for services, when payment is made more than 30 days after the designated billing office receives a proper invoice.

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6. Amend section 32.908 by adding paragraph (c)(4) to read as follows:

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Contract clauses.
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(c) * * *

(4) If the contract is a cost-reimbursement contract for services, use the clause with its Alternate I.

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PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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7. Amend section 52.232-25 by adding Alternate I to read as follows:

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Prompt Payment.
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Alternate I (Oct 2001). As prescribed in 32.908(c)(4), add the following paragraph (d) to the basic clause:

(d) Invoices for interim payments. For interim payments under this cost-reimbursement contract for services—

(1) Paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4)(ii), (a)(4)(iii), and (a)(5)(i) do not apply;

(2) For purposes of computing late payment interest penalties that may apply, the due date for payment is the 30th day after the designated billing office receives a proper invoice; and

(3) The Contractor shall submit invoices for interim payments in accordance with paragraph (a) of FAR 52.216-7, Allowable Cost and Payment. If the invoice does not comply with contract requirements, it will be returned within 7 days after the date the designated billing office received the invoice.

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[FR Doc. 01-26298 Filed 10-19-01; 8:45 am]

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