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Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006-031, Enhanced Access for Small Business

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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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AGENCIES:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed on a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement Section 857 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007.

DATES:

Effective Date: May 22, 2008.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Meredith Murphy, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 208-6925 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the FAR Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-25, FAR case 2006-031.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 72 FR 46950 on August 22, 2007. No Start Printed Page 21800public comments were received in response to the proposed rule. This final rule makes no change to the proposed rule.

Section 857 creates a different, higher dollar ceiling to enable small businesses to use the small claims procedure to appeal a contracting officer’s final decision. This rule amends the FAR to add the ceiling at 33.211(a)(4)(v).

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 Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and 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 it does not change the rules for buying and does not add an information collection requirement. It will have a small positive impact because small businesses will be able to more easily use the special contract appeals procedure.

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 Part 33

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Dated: April 4, 2008.

Al Matera,

Director, Office of Acquisition Policy.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend

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PART 33—PROTESTS, DISPUTES, AND APPEALS

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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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2. Amend section 33.211 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:

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Contracting officer’s decision.

(a) When a claim by or against a contractor cannot be satisfied or settled by mutual agreement and a decision on the claim is necessary, the contracting officer shall—

(1) Review the facts pertinent to the claim;

(2) Secure assistance from legal and other advisors;

(3) Coordinate with the contract administration officer or contracting office, as appropriate; and

(4) Prepare a written decision that shall include—

(i) A description of the claim or dispute;

(ii) A reference to the pertinent contract terms;

(iii) A statement of the factual areas of agreement and disagreement;

(iv) A statement of the contracting officer’s decision, with supporting rationale;

(v) Paragraphs substantially as follows:

“This is the final decision of the Contracting Officer. You may appeal this decision to the agency board of contract appeals. If you decide to appeal, you must, within 90 days from the date you receive this decision, mail or otherwise furnish written notice to the agency board of contract appeals and provide a copy to the Contracting Officer from whose decision this appeal is taken. The notice shall indicate that an appeal is intended, reference this decision, and identify the contract by number.

With regard to appeals to the agency board of contract appeals, you may, solely at your election, proceed under the board’s—

(1) Small claim procedure for claims of $50,000 or less or, in the case of a small business concern (as defined in the Small Business Act and regulations under that Act), $150,000 or less; or

(2) Accelerated procedure for claims of $100,000 or less.

Instead of appealing to the agency board of contract appeals, you may bring an action directly in the United States Court of Federal Claims (except as provided in the Contract Disputes Act of 1978, 41 U.S.C. 603, regarding Maritime Contracts) within 12 months of the date you receive this decision”

; and

(vi) Demand for payment prepared in accordance with 32.610(b) in all cases where the decision results in a finding that the contractor is indebted to the Government.

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[FR Doc. E8-8427 Filed 4-21-08; 8:45 am]

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