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Cost Accounting Standards Board (CAS); Applicability of Cost Accounting Standards Coverage

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AGENCY:

Cost Accounting Standards Board, Office of Federal Procurement Policy, OMB.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Board, has adopted, without change from the interim rule, a final rule revising the criteria applicable to United Kingdom (UK) contractors for filing a Disclosure Statement, Form No. CASB DS-1. This rulemaking is authorized pursuant to Section 26 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

June 13, 2007.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Laura Auletta, Manager, Cost Accounting Standards Board, 725 17th Street, NW., Room 9013, Washington, DC 20503 (telephone: 202-395-3256).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

On May 23, 2005, the Cost Accounting Standards Board published an interim rule with request for comment (70 FR 29457) for the purpose of revising the criteria applicable to United Kingdom (UK) contractors for filing a Disclosure Statement, Form No. CASB DS-1. The interim rule was adopted in order to comply with a specific request by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to simplify the compliance process with CAS Board disclosure requirements for UK contractors.

Unlike certain other foreign contractors, UK contractors have been required to file a CASB DS-1 in accordance with CAS regulations. The MOD initially approached the Board with a request that UK contractors be permitted to use the corresponding UK form “Questionnaire on Method of Allocation of Costs” (QMAC), in lieu of the CASB DS-1. After a review of the content of the QMAC, the UK and U.S. representatives agreed that it did not have the same scope as the CASB DS-1. Therefore, it was agreed that to cover the gap in the coverage a “Supplemental QMAC” was needed.

Based upon the Board's approval of a Supplemental QMAC that is acceptable to the MOD, the MOD requested that the CAS Board allow UK contractors to submit their basic QMAC, together with the Supplemental QMAC, in lieu of the DS-1. At its meeting on February 23, 2005, the Board agreed to change the CAS requirements so that UK contractors with CAS-covered contracts may file the UK QMAC together with its Supplement in lieu of the CASB DS-1 required of U.S. contractors. In conjunction with this change, the Board also agreed to eliminate the specific paragraph addressing UK contractors at 9903.201-1(b)(12). As a result, UK contractors are subject to the requirements of 9903.201-1(b)(4), i.e., contracts and subcontracts with UK contractors are exempt from CAS “insofar as the requirements of CAS other than 9904.401 and 9904.402 are concerned.” The May, 2005 interim rule reflected these Board approved revisions.

B. Public Comments

The Board received one set of public comments in response to the Interim Rule.

1. CAS Coverage for UK Contractors

Comment: The commenter requested confirmation that the rule requires that UK contractors comply only with CAS 401 and 402.

Response: The language in the final rule requires that all UK contractors performing U.S. Government contracts and not otherwise exempt under 48 CFR Start Printed Page 325479903.201-1 will be required to comply only with CAS 401 and 402 in accordance with 48 CFR 9903.201-1(b)(4).

2. Extent of Disclosure Requirement

Comment: The commenter expressed concern that UK contractors are subject to more extensive disclosure requirements than other countries listed in 48 CFR 9903.201-4(e) by virtue of the QMAC Supplement.

Response: The Board believes that the disclosure requirements for UK contractors provide the information necessary for the UK MOD to determine whether such contractors are complying with the provisions of CAS 401 and 402. The MOD initially requested that its contractors be permitted to file only the QMAC. However, as described in the Background section above, the Board determined that the QMAC, by itself, did not provide sufficient information about the accounting practices of UK contractors. Therefore, working jointly with the MOD, the QMAC supplement was developed to minimize duplicate disclosures while providing the additional information needed to cover the gap between the QMAC and CASB DS-1.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act, Public Law 96-511, does not apply to this rulemaking, because this rule imposes no paperwork burden on offerors, affected contractors and subcontractors, or members of the public which requires the approval of OMB under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

D. Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Board certifies that this rule will not have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5. U.S.C. 601, et seq., because small businesses are exempt from the application of the Cost Accounting Standards.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 9903

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Paul A. Denett,

Administrator, Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

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For the reasons set forth in this preamble, Chapter 99 of title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as set forth below. Please note that, in publishing the interim rule, the Code of Federal Regulations inadvertently removed and reserved paragraph (d) of the first

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PART 9903—CONTRACT COVERAGE

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1. The authority citation for part 9903 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Pub. L. 100-679, 102 Stat. 4056, 41 U.S.C. 422.

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Subpart 9903.2—CAS Program Requirements

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2. Section 9903.201-4 is revised to read as follows:

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Contract clauses.

(a) Cost Accounting Standards. (1) The contracting officer shall insert the clause set forth below, Cost Accounting Standards, in negotiated contracts, unless the contract is exempted (see 9903.201-1), the contract is subject to modified coverage (see 9903.201-2), or the clause prescribed in paragraph (e) of this section is used.

(2) The clause below requires the contractor to comply with all CAS specified in part 9904, to disclose actual cost accounting practices (applicable to CAS-covered contracts only), and to follow disclosed and established cost accounting practices consistently.

Cost Accounting Standards (June 2000)

(a) Unless the contract is exempt under 9903.201-1 and 9903.201-2, the provisions of 9903 are incorporated herein by reference and the Contractor in connection with this contract, shall—

(1) (CAS-covered Contracts Only) By submission of a Disclosure Statement, disclosed in writing the Contractor's cost accounting practices as required by 9903.202-1 through 9903.202-5 including methods of distinguishing direct costs from indirect costs and the basis used for allocating indirect costs. The practices disclosed for this contract shall be the same as the practices currently disclosed and applied on all other contracts and subcontracts being performed by the Contractor and which contain a Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) clause. If the Contractor has notified the Contracting Officer that the Disclosure Statement contains trade secrets, and commercial or financial information which is privileged and confidential, the Disclosure Statement shall be protected and shall not be released outside of the Government.

(2) Follow consistently the Contractor's cost accounting practices in accumulating and reporting contract performance cost data concerning this contract. If any change in cost accounting practices is made for the purposes of any contract or subcontract subject to CAS requirements, the change must be applied prospectively to this contract and the Disclosure Statement must be amended accordingly. If the contract price or cost allowance of this contract is affected by such changes, adjustment shall be made in accordance with subparagraph (a)(4) or (a)(5) of this clause, as appropriate.

(3) Comply with all CAS, including any modifications and interpretations indicated thereto contained in part 9904, in effect on the date of award of this contract or, if the Contractor has submitted cost or pricing data, on the date of final agreement on price as shown on the Contractor's signed certificate of current cost or pricing data. The Contractor shall also comply with any CAS (or modifications to CAS) which hereafter become applicable to a contract or subcontract of the Contractor. Such compliance shall be required prospectively from the date of applicability of such contract or subcontract.

(4)(i) Agree to an equitable adjustment as provided in the Changes clause of this contract if the contract cost is affected by a change which, pursuant to subparagraph (a)(3) of this clause, the Contractor is required to make to the Contractor's established cost accounting practices.

(ii) Negotiate with the Contracting Officer to determine the terms and conditions under which a change may be made to a cost accounting practice, other than a change made under other provisions of subparagraph (a)(4) of this clause; provided that no agreement may be made under this provision that will increase costs paid by the United States.

(iii) When the parties agree to a change to a cost accounting practice, other than a change under subdivision (a)(4)(i) of this clause, negotiate an equitable adjustment as provided in the Changes clause of this contract.

(5) Agree to an adjustment of the contract price or cost allowance, as appropriate, if the Contractor or a subcontractor fails to comply with an applicable Cost Accounting Standard, or to follow any cost accounting practice consistently and such failure results in any increased costs paid by the United States. Such adjustment shall provide for recovery of the increased costs to the United States, together with interest thereon computed at the annual rate established under section 6621(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 6621(a)(2)) for such period, from the time the payment by the United States was made to the time the adjustment is effected. In no case shall the Government recover costs greater than the increased cost to the Government, in the aggregate, on the relevant contracts subject to the price adjustment, unless the Contractor made a change in its cost accounting practices of which it was aware or should have been aware at the time of price negotiations and which it failed to disclose to the Government.

(b) If the parties fail to agree whether the Contractor or a subcontractor has complied with an applicable CAS in part 9904 or a CAS rule or regulation in part 9903 and as to any cost adjustment demanded by the United States, such failure to agree will Start Printed Page 32548constitute a dispute under the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 601).

(c) The Contractor shall permit any authorized representatives of the Government to examine and make copies of any documents, papers, or records relating to compliance with the requirements of this clause.

(d) The contractor shall include in all negotiated subcontracts which the Contractor enters into, the substance of this clause, except paragraph (b), and shall require such inclusion in all other subcontracts, of any tier, including the obligation to comply with all CAS in effect on the subcontractor's award date or if the subcontractor has submitted cost or pricing data, on the date of final agreement on price as shown on the subcontractor's signed Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data. If the subcontract is awarded to a business unit which pursuant to 9903.201-2 is subject to other types of CAS coverage, the substance of the applicable clause set forth in 9903.201-4 shall be inserted. This requirement shall apply only to negotiated subcontracts in excess of $500,000, except that the requirement shall not apply to negotiated subcontracts otherwise exempt from the requirement to include a CAS clause as specified in 9903.201-1.

(End of clause)

(b) [Reserved].

(c) Disclosure and Consistency of Cost Accounting Practices. (1) The contracting officer shall insert the clause set forth below, Disclosure and Consistency of Cost Accounting Practices, in negotiated contracts when the contract amount is over $500,000 but less than $50 million, and the offeror certifies it is eligible for and elects to use modified CAS coverage (see 9903.201-2, unless the clause prescribed in paragraph (d) of this subsection is used).

(2) The clause below requires the contractor to comply with CAS 9904.401, 9904.402, 9904.405, and 9904.406, to disclose (if it meets certain requirements) actual cost accounting practices, and to follow consistently disclosed and established cost accounting practices.

Disclosure and Consistency of Cost Accounting Practices (June 2000)

(a) The Contractor, in connection with this contract, shall—

(1) Comply with the requirements of 9904.401, Consistency in Estimating, Accumulating, and Reporting Costs; 9904.402, Consistency in Allocating Costs Incurred for the Same Purpose; 9904.405, Accounting for Unallowable Costs; and 9904.406, Cost Accounting Standard—Cost Accounting Period, in effect on the date of award of this contract, as indicated in part 9904.

(2) (CAS-covered Contracts Only) If it is a business unit of a company required to submit a Disclosure Statement, disclose in writing its cost accounting practices as required by 9903.202-1 through 9903.202-5. If the Contractor has notified the Contracting Officer that the Disclosure Statement contains trade secrets and commercial or financial information which is privileged and confidential, the Disclosure Statement shall be protected and shall not be released outside of the Government.

(3)(i) Follow consistently the Contractor's cost accounting practices. A change to such practices may be proposed, however, by either the Government or the Contractor, and the Contractor agrees to negotiate with the Contracting Officer the terms and conditions under which a change may be made. After the terms and conditions under which the change is to be made have been agreed to, the change must be applied prospectively to this contract, and the Disclosure Statement, if affected, must be amended accordingly.

(ii) The Contractor shall, when the parties agree to a change to a cost accounting practice and the Contracting Officer has made the finding required in 9903.201-6(c) that the change is desirable and not detrimental to the interests of the Government, negotiate an equitable adjustment as provided in the Changes clause of this contract. In the absence of the required finding, no agreement may be made under this contract clause that will increase costs paid by the United States.

(4) Agree to an adjustment of the contract price or cost allowance, as appropriate, if the Contractor or a subcontractor fails to comply with the applicable CAS or to follow any cost accounting practice, and such failure results in any increased costs paid by the United States. Such adjustment shall provide for recovery of the increased costs to the United States, together with interest thereon computed at the annual rate established under section 6621(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 6621(a)(2)) for such period, from the time the payment by the United States was made to the time the adjustment is effected.

(b) If the parties fail to agree whether the Contractor has complied with an applicable CAS rule, or regulation as specified in parts 9903 and 9904 and as to any cost adjustment demanded by the United States, such failure to agree will constitute a dispute under the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 601).

(c) The Contractor shall permit any authorized representatives of the Government to examine and make copies of any documents, papers, and records relating to compliance with the requirements of this clause.

(d) The Contractor shall include in all negotiated subcontracts, which the Contractor enters into, the substance of this clause, except paragraph (b), and shall require such inclusion in all other subcontracts of any tier, except that—

(1) If the subcontract is awarded to a business unit which pursuant to 9903.201-2 is subject to other types of CAS coverage, the substance of the applicable clause set forth in 9903.201-4 shall be inserted.

(2) This requirement shall apply only to negotiated subcontracts in excess of $500,000.

(3) The requirement shall not apply to negotiated subcontracts otherwise exempt from the requirement to include a CAS clause as specified in 9903.201-1.

(End of clause)

(d) [Reserved].

(e) Cost Accounting Standards—Educational Institutions. (1) The contracting officer shall insert the clause set forth below, Cost Accounting Standards—Educational Institution, in negotiated contracts awarded to educational institutions, unless the contract is exempted (see 9903.201-1), the contract is to be performed by an FFRDC (see 9903.201-2(c)(5)), or the provision at 9903.201-2(c)(6) applies.

(2) The clause below requires the educational institution to comply with all CAS specified in part 9905, to disclose actual cost accounting practices as required by 9903.202-1(f), and to follow disclosed and established cost accounting practices consistently.

Cost Accounting Standards—Educational Institutions (June 2000)

(a) Unless the contract is exempt under 9903.201-1 and 9903.201-2, the provisions of part 9903 are incorporated herein by reference and the Contractor in connection with this contract, shall—

(1) (CAS-covered Contracts Only) If a business unit of an educational institution required to submit a Disclosure Statement, disclose in writing the Contractor's cost accounting practices as required by 9903.202-1 through 9903.202-5 including methods of distinguishing direct costs from indirect costs and the basis used for accumulating and allocating indirect costs. The practices disclosed for this contract shall be the same as the practices currently disclosed and applied on all other contracts and subcontracts being performed by the Contractor and which contain a Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) clause. If the Contractor has notified the Contracting Officer that the Disclosure Statement contains trade secrets, and commercial or financial information which is privileged and confidential, the Disclosure Statement shall be protected and shall not be released outside of the Government.

(2) Follow consistently the Contractor's cost accounting practices in accumulating and reporting contract performance cost data concerning this contract. If any change in cost accounting practices is made for the purposes of any contract or subcontract subject to CAS requirements, the change must be applied prospectively to this contract and the Disclosure Statement, if required, must be amended accordingly. If an accounting principle change mandated under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, requires that a change in the Contractor's cost accounting practices be made after the date of this contract award, the change must be applied prospectively to this contract and the Disclosure Statement, if required, must be amended accordingly. If the contract price or cost allowance of this contract is affected by Start Printed Page 32549such changes, adjustment shall be made in accordance with subparagraph (a)(4) or (a)(5) of this clause, as appropriate.

(3) Comply with all CAS, including any modifications and interpretations indicated thereto contained in 48 CFR part 9905, in effect on the date of award of this contract or, if the Contractor has submitted cost or pricing data, on the date of final agreement on price as shown on the Contractor's signed certificate of current cost or pricing data. The Contractor shall also comply with any CAS (or modifications to CAS) which hereafter become applicable to a contract or subcontract of the Contractor. Such compliance shall be required prospectively from the date of applicability to such contract or subcontract.

(4)(i) Agree to an equitable adjustment as provided in the Changes clause of this contract if the contract cost is affected by a change which, pursuant to subparagraph (a)(3) of this clause, the Contractor is required to make to the Contractor's established cost accounting practices.

(ii) Negotiate with the Contracting Officer to determine the terms and conditions under which a change may be made to a cost accounting practice, other than a change made under other provisions of subparagraph (a)(4) of this clause; provided that no agreement may be made under this provision that will increase costs paid by the United States.

(iii) When the parties agree to a change to a cost accounting practice, other than a change under subdivision (a)(4)(i) or (a)(4)(iv) of this clause, negotiate an equitable adjustment as provided in the Changes clause of this contract.

(iv) Agree to an equitable adjustment as provided in the Changes clause of this contract, if the contract cost is materially affected by an OMB Circular A-21 accounting principle amendment which, on becoming effective after the date of contract award, requires the Contractor to make a change to the Contractor's established cost accounting practices.

(5) Agree to an adjustment of the contract price or cost allowance, as appropriate, if the Contractor or a subcontractor fails to comply with an applicable Cost Accounting Standard, or to follow any cost accounting practice consistently and such failure results in any increased costs paid by the United States. Such adjustment shall provide for recovery of the increased costs to the United States, together with interest thereon computed at the annual rate established under section 6621(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 6621(a)(2)) for such period, from the time the payment by the United States was made to the time the adjustment is effected. In no case shall the Government recover costs greater than the increased cost to the Government, in the aggregate, on the relevant contracts subject to the price adjustment, unless the Contractor made a change in its cost accounting practices of which it was aware or should have been aware at the time of price negotiations and which it failed to disclose to the Government.

(b) If the parties fail to agree whether the Contractor or a subcontractor has complied with an applicable CAS or a CAS rule or regulation in 9903 and as to any cost adjustment demanded by the United States, such failure to agree will constitute a dispute under the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 601).

(c) The Contractor shall permit any authorized representatives of the Government to examine and make copies of any documents, papers, or records relating to compliance with the requirements of this clause.

(d) The Contractor shall include in all negotiated subcontracts which the Contractor enters into, the substance of this clause, except paragraph (b), and shall require such inclusion in all other subcontracts, of any tier, including the obligation to comply with all applicable CAS in effect on the subcontractor's award date or if the subcontractor has submitted cost or pricing data, on the date of final agreement on price as shown on the subcontractor's signed Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data, except that—

(1) If the subcontract is awarded to a business unit which pursuant to 9903.201-2 is subject to other types of CAS coverage, the substance of the applicable clause set forth in 9903.201-4 shall be inserted; and

(2) This requirement shall apply only to negotiated subcontracts in excess of $500,000.

(3) The requirement shall not apply to negotiated subcontracts otherwise exempt from the requirement to include a CAS clause as specified in 9903.201-1.

(End of clause)

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-11325 Filed 6-12-07; 8:45 am]

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