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Proposed Rule

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Utility Rates Established by Regulatory Bodies

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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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AGENCY:

Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Proposed rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

DoD is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to update text pertaining to utility rates established by independent and nonindependent regulatory bodies. This proposed rule is a result of a transformation initiative undertaken by DoD to dramatically change the purpose and content of the DFARS.

DATES:

Comments on the proposed rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before April 25, 2005, to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by DFARS Case 2003-D096, using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Defense Acquisition Regulations Web Site: http://emissary.acq.osd.mil/​dar/​dfars.nsf/​pubcomm. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: dfars@osd.mil. Include DFARS Case 2003-D096 in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (703) 602-0350.
  • Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations Council, Attn: Ms. Michele Peterson, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(DAR), IMD 3C132, 3062 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3062.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Defense Acquisition Regulations Council, Crystal Square 4, Suite 200A, 241 18th Street, Arlington, VA 22202-3402.

All comments received will be posted to http://emissary.acq.osd.mil/​dar/​dfars.nsf.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Michele Peterson, (703) 602-0311.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

DFARS Transformation is a major DoD initiative to dramatically change the purpose and content of the DFARS. The objective is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the acquisition process, while allowing the acquisition workforce the flexibility to innovate. The transformed DFARS will contain only requirements of law, DoD-wide policies, delegations of FAR authorities, deviations from FAR requirements, and policies/procedures that have a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of DoD or a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. Additional information on the DFARS Transformation initiative is available at http://www.acq.osd.mil/​dpap/​dfars/​transf.htm.

This proposed rule is a result of the DFARS Transformation initiative. The proposed changes—

  • Revise DFARS 241.201 to clarify that utility rates established by independent regulatory bodies may be relied upon as fair and reasonable; and
  • Add DFARS 241.501 to clarify requirements for use of contract clauses addressing changes in rates for regulated and unregulated utility services.

This rule was not subject to Office of Management and Budget review under Executive Order 12866, dated September 30, 1993.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

DoD does not expect this rule 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 proposed rule contains clarifying amendments, with no significant change to contracting policy. Therefore, DoD has not performed an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. DoD invites comments from small businesses and other interested parties. DoD also will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected DFARS subparts in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Such comments should be Start Printed Page 8566submitted separately and should cite DFARS Case 2003-D096.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the rule does not impose any 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 Part 241

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Michele P. Peterson,

Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

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Therefore, DoD proposes to amend 48 CFR part 241 as follows:

1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 241 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 41 U.S.C. 421 and 48 CFR Chapter 1.

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PART 241—ACQUISITION OF UTILITY SERVICES

2. Section 241.201 is revised to read as follows:

Policy.

(1) DoD, as a matter of comity, generally complies with the current regulations, practices and decisions of independent regulatory bodies. This policy does not extend to nonindependent regulatory bodies.

(2) Purchases of utility services outside the United States may use—

(i) Formats and technical provisions consistent with local practice; and

(ii) Dual language forms and contracts.

(3) Rates established by an independent regulatory body—

(i) Are considered “prices set by law or regulation”;

(ii) Are sufficient to set prices without obtaining cost or pricing data (see FAR subpart 15.4); and

(iii) Are a valid basis on which prices can be determined fair and reasonable.

(4) Compliance with the regulations, practices, and decisions of independent regulatory bodies as a matter of comity is not a substitute for the procedures at FAR 41.202(a).

3. Section 241.501 is added to read as follows:

Solicitation provision and contract clauses.

(d)(1) Use a clause substantially the same as the clause at FAR 52.241-7, Change in Rates or Terms and Conditions of Service for Regulated Services, when the utility services to be provided are subject to an independent regulatory body.

(2) Use a clause substantially the same as the clause at FAR 52.241-8, Change in Rates or Terms and Conditions of Service for Unregulated Services, when the utility services to be provided are not subject to a regulatory body or are subject to a nonindependent regulatory body.

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[FR Doc. 05-3196 Filed 2-18-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-08-P