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Federal Acquisition Regulation; Addition of Landscaping and Pest Control Services to the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program

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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) regarding the addition of landscaping and pest control services to the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program. This FAR revision implements Section 821 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, Public Law 108-375, which amends Section 717 of the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 644 note) to include landscaping and pest control services.

DATES:

Effective Date: March 9, 2005.

Comment Date: Interested parties should submit comments to the FAR Secretariat at the address shown below on or before May 9, 2005 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by FAC 2005-01, FAR case 2004-036 by any of the following methods:

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAC 2005-01, FAR case 2004-036, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.acqnet.gov/​far/​ProposedRules/​proposed.htm, including any personal information provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The FAR Secretariat at (202) 501-4755, for information pertaining to status or publication schedules. For clarification of content, contact Ms. Kimberly Marshall, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 219-0986. Please cite FAC 2005-01, FAR case 2004-036.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

This interim rule amends the FAR to implement Section 821 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, Public Law 108-375, which amends Section 717 of the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 644 note). The law amends the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program to include landscaping and pest control services. The emerging small business reserve amount for these new services is set at $25,000.

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 changes may 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 there will be additional categories added to the designated industry groups listed in FAR 19.1005. This rule adds landscaping (561730) and pest control (561710) services to the list of National American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes included as designated industry groups of the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program. The Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act is summarized as follows:

The objective of the interim rule is to further assess the ability of small business concerns to compete successfully in certain industry categories without competition being restricted by the use of small business set-asides. The implementation of Section 821 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, Public Law 108-375 will change the FAR as follows: (1) revises the designated industry groups to include Exterminating and Pest Control Services and Landscaping Services in the definition of “Emerging small business reserve amount” at FAR 19.1002(1) and in 19.1005(a); (2) deletes the word “four” before designated industry groups in the FAR.

The interim rule will apply to all small business concerns that compete on Federal acquisitions falling under NAICS codes 561730 and 561710. Based on Governmentwide data retrieved from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) for the specified NAICS codes, approximately 141 small business concerns were awarded contracts of $25,000 or more on an unrestricted basis in Fiscal Year 2002 for NAICS code 561730. This represents about 88 percent of all contracts awarded with unrestricted competition for that NAICS code. In Fiscal Year 2003, there were 116 contracts awarded to small business concerns on an unrestricted basis, which represents approximately 81 percent of all contracts awarded with unrestricted competition for that NAICS codes. FPDS data also show that 25 small business concerns were awarded contracts of $25,000 or more on an unrestricted basis in Fiscal Year 2002 for NAICS code 561710. This represents about 56 percent of all contracts awarded with unrestricted competition for that NAICS code. In Fiscal Year 2003, there were 17 contracts awarded to small business concerns on an unrestricted basis, which represents approximately 77 percent of all contracts awarded with unrestricted competition for that NAICS codes. It is estimated that small business concerns will continue to be successful in winning at least one-half to three-fourths of awards on an unrestricted basis when these designated industry groups are added to the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Programs given the history of their success in recent unrestricted competitive government acquisitions falling under NAICS codes 561730 and 561710. Additional data retrieved from FPDS show that the number of small business set-asides for NAICS code 561730 in Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003 combined was approximately 952 and the number of small business set-asides for NAICS code 561710 in Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003 combined was approximately 96.

The changes may 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 previously set-aside acquisitions for services falling within NAICS codes 561730 and 561710 will now be included in the designated industry groups of the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program. FAR 19.1007(b) states that—

“Solicitations for acquisitions in any of the designated industry groups that have an anticipated dollar value greater than the emerging small business reserve amount must not be considered for small business set-asides under Subpart 19.5. However, agencies may reinstate the use of small business set-asides as necessary to meet their assigned goals, but only within organizational units that failed to meet the small business participation goal. Acquisitions in the designated industry groups must continue to be considered for placement under the 8(a) Program (see Subpart 19.8), the HUBZone Program (see Subpart 19.13), and the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Procurement Program (see Subpart 19.14).”

Given the large number of awards made under these NAICS codes, it is anticipated that the addition of the 2 NAICS codes to the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program will promote an increased number of opportunities for small business concerns to develop teaming arrangements and joint ventures.

The purpose of the Competitiveness Demonstration Program is to assess the ability of small businesses to compete successfully in certain industry categories without competition being restricted by the use of small business set-asides. This portion of the program is limited to the four designated industry groups listed in FAR 19.1005(a) and will include the addition of landscaping and pest control services to the designated industry groups. The interim rule imposes no reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements. The interim rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. There are no practical alternatives that will accomplish the objectives of this interim rule.

The FAR Secretariat has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Interested parties may obtain a copy from the FAR Secretariat. The Councils will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected FAR Parts 19 and 52 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 2005-01, FAR case 2004-036), 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

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 interim rule includes FAR text revisions Start Printed Page 11742required to implement the recently enacted Public Law 108-375, Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (October 28, 2004), Section 821, which amends Section 717 of the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 644 note). 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 Parts 19 and 52

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Dated: February 24, 2005

Rodney P. Lantier,

Director,Contract 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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PART 19—SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS

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[Amended]
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2. Amend section 19.502-2 in paragraph (d) by removing the word “four”.

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3. In section 19.1002 revise paragraph (1) of the definition “Emerging small business reserve amount” to read as follows:

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Definitions.

Emerging small business reserve amount * * *

(1) $25,000 for construction, refuse systems and related services, non-nuclear ship repair, landscaping and pest control services; and

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4. Amend section 19.1005 in paragraph (a) by adding an Item 5 to the “NAICS Description” to read as follows:

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Applicability.

(a) * * *

NAICS CODE NAICS DESCRIPTION

5. Landscaping and Pest Control

Services

561710 Exterminating and Pest

Control Services

561730 Landscaping Services

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5. In addition to the amendments set forth above, remove the word “four” in the following places:(a) Section 19.1001(a);(b) Section 19.1003(a) and (c);(c) Section 19.1007(b) and (c); and(d) Section 19.1008(a).

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PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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6. Amend section 52.212-3 by revising the date of the clause to read “(MAR 2005)” and by removing from paragraphs (c)(8)(i) and (c)(8)(ii) the word “four” wherever it appears.

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[FR Doc. 05-4087 Filed 3-8-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-EP-S