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Federal Acquisition Regulation; Increased Federal Prison Industries, Inc. Waiver Threshold

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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


Interim rule with request for comments.


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 increase the blanket waiver threshold for small dollar value purchases from Federal Prison Industries (FPI) by Federal agencies. By increasing this threshold to $2,500, Federal agencies will not be required to make purchases from FPI of products on FPI's Schedule that are at or below this threshold. Federal agencies, however, may continue to consider and purchase products from FPI that are at or below $2,500.


Effective Date: May 22, 2003.

Comment Date: Interested parties should submit comments to the FAR Secretariat at the address shown below on or before June 23, 2003 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.


Submit written comments to—General Services Administration, FAR Secretariat (MVA), 1800 F Street, NW., Room 4035, Attn: Ms. Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405.

Submit electronic comments via the Internet to— Please submit comments only and cite FAC 2001-14, FAR case 2003-001, in all correspondence related to this case.

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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 Nelson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-1900. Please cite FAC 2001-14, FAR case 2003-001.

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A. Background

The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) Board of Directors recently adopted a resolution increasing the blanket waiver threshold for small dollar-value purchases from Federal Prison Industries by Federal agencies. The resolution adopted by the FPI Board increases the FPI clearance exception threshold at 8.606(e) from $25 to $2,500 and eliminates the criterion that delivery is required within 10 days. The objective of the rule is to increase the dollar threshold necessary to obtain a clearance from FPI. By increasing this threshold to $2,500, Federal agencies will not be required to make purchases from FPI of products on FPI's Schedule that are at or below this threshold. Federal agencies, however, may continue to consider and purchase products from FPI that are at or below $2,500. FPI is a mandatory acquisition program established under 18 U.S.C. 4124. Agencies would still be required to purchase products on FPI's Schedule from FPI above the $2,500 threshold unless a clearance is obtained pursuant to FAR 8.605.

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 does not apply to this rule. This interim 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 part 8, 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 2001-14, FAR case 2003-001), 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.

D. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

There is no requirement to publish this rule for public comment, as it is not a significant FAR revision. This rule only covers very-small-dollar supply purchases now being made from Federal Prison Industries, part of the Department of Justice, another Federal executive agency. FPI will continue to be a source, but optional rather than mandatory, for these very-small-dollar purchases. This change does not originate from the FAR regulation, but is only an update to show a change in policy made by the Federal Prison Industries itself. No public comments are required under 41 U.S.C. 418b(a), and under (a) and (d) therefore no determination either for compelling circumstances, or for urgent and compelling circumstances needs to be made in order for the case to go into effect immediately. Even though not required to do so, the Councils would, nevertheless, like to obtain public comments. No determination of urgent and compelling circumstances is necessary under the statute to obtain optional public comments.

However, 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.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 8

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Dated: May 13, 2003.

Laura G. Smith,

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. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 U.S.C. 2473(c).

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2. Amend section 8.606 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:

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(e) Orders are for listed items totaling $2,500 or less.

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[FR Doc. 03-12305 Filed 5-21-03; 8:45 am]