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Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006-019, Contracts With Religious Entities

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


Final rule.


The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have adopted as final, without change, an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement Executive Order (E.O.) 11246, as amended, Equal Employment Opportunity, to incorporate the exemption for religious entities prescribed in E.O. 13279.


Effective Date: December 26, 2007.

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Mr. Ernest Woodson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-3775 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the FAR Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-23, FAR case 2006-019.

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A. Background

This final rule amends the FAR to incorporate the exemption for religious entities prescribed in E.O. 13279. Executive Order 11246, as amended, prohibits Government contractors and subcontractors, and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment, and requires these contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that employees and applicants are treated without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Section 4 of E.O. 13279 amended Section 204 of E.O. 11246 to exempt religious corporations, associations, educational institutions and societies from certain nondiscrimination requirements. Executive Order 11246, as amended, permits religious entities to consider employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with carrying on the entity's activities. Religious entities are not exempt from other requirements of the E.O. 11246.

DoD, GSA, and NASA published an interim rule with request for comments in the Federal Register at 72 FR 13586, March 22, 2007. No public comments were received on the rule. The Councils have determined to adopt the interim rule as final, without change.

This 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 Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration certify that this final rule will not 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 rule only aligns the FAR with the Department of Labor implementation of the exemption for consistency and clarity. The Department of Labor stated in its Federal Register notice of September 30, 2003, that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small business entities. The rule is expected to have a small positive impact on small business entities, as the rule eases hiring restrictions for religious entities. The rule does not impose new requirements that impose a burden on contractors. No comments were received with regard to an impact on small business.

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.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 22 and 52

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Dated: December 19, 2007.

Al Matera,

Director, Office of Acquisition Policy.

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Interim Rule Adopted as Final Without Change

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Accordingly, the interim rule amending

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[FR Doc. E7-24938 Filed 12-21-07; 8:45 am]