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Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Excessive Pass-Through Charges (DFARS Case 2006-D057)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

DoD has issued an interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement Section 852 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. Section 852 Start Printed Page 20759requires DoD to prescribe regulations to ensure that pass-through charges on contracts or subcontracts that are entered into for or on behalf of DoD are not excessive in relation to the cost of work performed by the relevant contractor or subcontractor.

DATES:

Effective date: April 26, 2007.

Comment date: Comments on the interim rule should be submitted in writing to the address shown below on or before June 25, 2007, to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by DFARS Case 2006-D057, using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: dfars@osd.mil. Include DFARS Case 2006-D057 in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (703) 602-0350.
  • Mail: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Mr. John McPherson, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(CPF), IMD 3C132, 3062 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3062.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Crystal Square 4, Suite 200A, 241 18th Street, Arlington, VA 22202-3402.

Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. John McPherson, (703) 602-0296.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

This interim rule implements Section 852 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364). Section 852 requires DoD to prescribe regulations to ensure that pass-through charges on contracts or subcontracts (or task or delivery orders) that are entered into for or on behalf of DoD are not excessive in relation to the cost of work performed by the relevant contractor or subcontractor. To enable DoD to ensure that pass-through charges are not excessive, this interim rule contains a solicitation provision and a contract clause requiring offerors and contractors to identify the percentage of work that will be subcontracted and, when subcontract costs will exceed 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed, to provide information on indirect costs and profit and value added with regard to the subcontract work.

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 DoD does not expect a significant number of entities to propose excessive pass-through charges under DoD contracts or subcontracts, and the information required from offerors and contractors regarding pass-through charges is minimal. 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 submitted separately and should cite DFARS Case 2006-D057.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

This interim rule contains a new information collection requirement. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirement for use through October 31, 2007, under OMB Control Number 0704-0443, in accordance with the emergency processing procedures of 5 CFR 1320.13. DoD invites comments on the following aspects of the interim rule: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The following is a summary of the information collection requirement.

Title: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Excessive Pass-Through Charges.

Type of Request: New collection.

Number of Respondents: 12,650.

Responses per Respondent: Approximately 1.

Annual Responses: 12,800.

Average Burden per Response: .51 hour.

Annual Burden Hours: 6,550.

Needs and Uses: DoD needs this information to ensure that pass-through charges under DoD contracts and subcontracts are not excessive, in accordance with Section 852 of Public Law 109-364. DoD contracting officers will use the information to assess the value added by a contractor or subcontractor in relation to proposed, billed, or claimed indirect costs or profit on work performed by a subcontractor.

Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit institutions.

Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

Frequency: On occasion.

Written comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be sent to Ms. Hillary Jaffe at the Office of Management and Budget, Desk Officer for DoD, Room 10236, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, with a copy to the Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Mr. John McPherson, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(CPF), IMD 3C132, 3062 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3062. Comments can be received from 30 to 60 days after the date of this notice, but comments to OMB will be most useful if received by OMB within 30 days after the date of this notice.

To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Attn: Mr. John McPherson, OUSD(AT&L)DPAP(CPF), IMD 3C132, 3062 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3062.

D. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

A determination has been made under the authority of the Secretary of Defense that urgent and compelling reasons exist to publish an interim rule prior to affording the public an opportunity to comment. This interim rule implements Section 852 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364). Section 852 requires DoD to prescribe regulations, not later than May 1, 2007, to ensure that pass-through charges on contracts or subcontracts (or task or delivery orders) that are entered into for or on behalf of DoD are not excessive in relation to the cost of work performed by the relevant contractor or subcontractor. Comments received in response to this interim rule will be considered in the formation of the final rule.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 215, 231, and 252

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Michele P. Peterson,

Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

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Therefore,

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1. The authority citation for

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

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PART 215—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION

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2. Section 215.408 is amended by adding paragraph (3) to read as follows:

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Solicitation provisions and contract clauses.
* * * * *

(3) Use the provision at 252.215-7003, Excessive Pass-Through Charges—Identification of Subcontract Effort, and the clause at 252.215-7004, Excessive Pass-Through Charges, in all solicitations and contracts (including task or delivery orders) except for—

(i) Firm-fixed-price contracts awarded on the basis of adequate price competition;

(ii) Fixed-price contracts with economic price adjustment, awarded on the basis of adequate price competition;

(iii) Firm-fixed-price contracts for the acquisition of a commercial item; or

(iv) Fixed-price contracts with economic price adjustment, for the acquisition of a commercial item.

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PART 231—CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES

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3. Sections 231.201-2 and 231.203 are added to read as follows:

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Determining allowability.

(a) In addition to the requirements at FAR 31.201-2(a), a cost is allowable only when it complies with the clause at 252.215-7004, Excessive Pass-Through Charges.

Indirect costs.

(d) Excessive pass-through charges, as defined in the clause at 252.215-7004, are unallowable.

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PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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4. Sections 252.215-7003 and 252.215-7004 are added to read as follows:

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Excessive pass-through charges—identification of subcontract effort.

As prescribed in 215.408(3), use the following provision:

EXCESSIVE PASS-THROUGH CHARGES—IDENTIFICATION OF SUBCONTRACT EFFORT (APR 2007)

(a) Definition. Excessive pass-through charge, as used in this provision, is defined in the clause of this solicitation entitled “Excessive Pass-Through Charges” (DFARS 252.215-7004).

(b) General. The offeror's proposal shall exclude excessive pass-through charges.

(c) Performance of work by the Contractor or a subcontractor. (1) The offeror shall identify in its proposal the percent of effort it intends to perform, and the percent expected to be performed by each subcontractor, under the contract, task order, or delivery order.

(2) If the offeror intends to subcontract more than 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under the contract, task order, or delivery order, the offeror shall identify in its proposal—

(i) The amount of the offeror's indirect costs and profit applicable to the work to be performed by the subcontractor(s); and

(ii) A description of the value added by the offeror as related to the work to be performed by the subcontractor(s).

(3) If any subcontractor proposed under the contract, task order, or delivery order intends to subcontract to a lower-tier subcontractor more than 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under its subcontract, the offeror shall identify in its proposal—

(i) The amount of the subcontractor's indirect costs and profit applicable to the work to be performed by the lower-tier subcontractor(s); and

(ii) A description of the value added by the subcontractor as related to the work to be performed by the lower-tier subcontractor(s).

(End of provision)

Excessive pass-through charges.

As prescribed in 215.408(3), use the following clause:

EXCESSIVE PASS-THROUGH CHARGES (APR 2007)

(a) Definitions. As used in this clause—

Excessive pass-through charge, with respect to a Contractor or subcontractor that adds no or negligible value to a contract or subcontract, means a charge to the Government by the Contractor or subcontractor that is for indirect costs or profit on work performed by a subcontractor (other than charges for the costs of managing subcontracts and applicable indirect costs and profit based on such costs).

No or negligible value means the Contractor or subcontractor cannot demonstrate to the Contracting Officer that its effort added substantive value to the contract or subcontract in accomplishing the work performed under the contract.

(b) General. The Government will not pay excessive pass-through charges. The Contracting Officer shall determine if excessive pass-through charges exist.

(c) Performance of work by the Contractor or a subcontractor. (1) If the Contractor changes the amount of subcontract effort identified in its proposal such that it exceeds 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under the contract, task order, or delivery order, the Contractor shall provide the Contracting Officer with a description of the value added by the Contractor as related to the subcontract effort.

(2) If any subcontractor identified in the proposal changes the amount of lower-tier subcontractor effort such that it exceeds 70 percent of the total cost of the work to be performed under its subcontract, the Contractor shall provide the Contracting Officer with a description of the value added by the subcontractor as related to the work to be performed by the lower-tier subcontractor(s).

(3) If any subcontractor not identified in the proposal subcontracts to a lower-tier subcontractor more than 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under its subcontract, the Contractor shall provide the Contracting Officer with a description of the value added by the subcontractor as related to the work to be performed by the lower-tier subcontractor(s).

(d) Recovery of excessive pass-through charges. If the Contracting Officer determines that excessive pass-through charges exist—

(1) For fixed-price contracts, the Government shall be entitled to a price reduction for the amount of excessive pass-through charges included in the contract price; and

(2) For other than fixed-price contracts, the excessive pass-through charges are unallowable in accordance with the provisions in Subpart 31.2 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Subpart 231.2 of the Defense FAR Supplement.

(e) Access to records. (1) The Contracting Officer, or authorized representative, shall have the right to examine and audit all the Contractor's records (as defined at FAR 52.215-2(a)) necessary to determine whether the Contractor proposed, billed, or claimed excessive pass-through charges.

(2) For those subcontracts to which paragraph (f) of this clause applies, the Contracting Officer, or authorized representative, shall have the right to examine and audit all the subcontractor's records (as defined at FAR 52.215-2(a)) necessary to determine whether the subcontractor proposed, billed, or claimed excessive pass-through charges.

(f) Flowdown. The Contractor shall insert the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (f), in all subcontracts under this contract, except for—

(1) Firm-fixed-price subcontracts awarded on the basis of adequate price competition;

(2) Fixed-price subcontracts with economic price adjustment, awarded on the basis of adequate price competition;

(3) Firm-fixed-price subcontracts for the acquisition of a commercial item; or

(4) Fixed-price subcontracts with economic price adjustment, for the acquisition of a commercial item.

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[FR Doc. E7-7905 Filed 4-25-07; 8:45 am]

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