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Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2004-038, Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS)

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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have adopted as final, with one minor change, the interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to revise the process for reporting contract actions to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). This final rule revises the definition of indefinite delivery vehicle at FAR 4.601.

DATES:

Effective Date: February 17, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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 2005-30, FAR case 2004-038.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

As of October 2003, all agencies were to begin reporting FAR-based contract actions to the modified system. During Fiscal Year 2004, members of the interagency Change Control Board, as well as departmental teams working on the migration of data from the old to new system, recognized both the opportunity to standardize reporting processes and the need to revise the FAR to provide current and clear reporting requirements.

DoD, GSA, and NASA published an interim rule in the Federal Register at 73 FR 21773, on April 22, 2008. The interim rule established the Government’s commitment for Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) data to serve as the single authoritative source of all procurement data for a host of applications and reports, such as the Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS), the Small Business Goaling Report (SBGR), and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) data. The public comment period closed on June 23, 2008. Four respondents submitted comments on the interim rule. A discussion of the comments and the changes made to the rule as a result of those comments are provided below:

1. One respondent commented that FAR 4.602(a) through (c) contains little value for a reader consulting the FAR for guidance on what to do and when or how to do it. The respondent recommends deleting 4.602 and renumbering remaining paragraphs.

Response: The Councils disagree with the comment. FAR section 4.602 was added to provide general information about contract reporting. The section identifies FPDS as the Government’s web-based tool for reporting contract actions. In addition, it provides a list of the many uses of the data provided by FPDS and cites the FPDS web site. The Councils consider this type of information to be very useful for the acquisition community and indicates the degree of importance placed on reporting contract actions. Language regarding procedures and reporting actions (what to do and when or how to do it) may be found at FAR 4.605 and 4.606. Therefore, FAR 4.602 remains unchanged.

2. One respondent commented that FAR 4.603(a) seemed to be needless and out of place. FPDS preceded Federal Funding and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA) by many years and does not meet the public access requirements articulated in FFATA. The respondent recommends deleting this section and renumbering remaining subparagraphs.

Response: The Councils disagree with the comment. FAR 4.603(a) is a Federal contract policy statement indicating that the FFATA requires that all Federal award data must be publicly accessible. FPDS data is made accessible to the public, satisfying the certain basic requirements of FFATA. Therefore, this paragraph remains unchanged.

3. One respondent stated that FAR 4.601 defines indefinite delivery vehicle (IDV). Since IDV is more encompassing than an indefinite delivery contract (IDC), the respondent recommends finding another word for “vehicle” or changing the definition to read “Indefinite delivery vehicle (IDV) means an indefinite delivery contract or agreement that has one or more…”

Response: The Councils agree that the definition should be clarified. As indicated at FAR 4.606(a)(ii), examples of IDVs, for the purposes of the FPDS, include task and delivery order contracts (including Governmentwide acquisition contracts and multi-agency contracts), GSA Federal supply schedules, Blanket Purchase Agreements, Basic Ordering Agreements, or any other agreement or contract against which individual orders or purchases may be placed. Accordingly, the Councils revised the definition of “Indefinite delivery vehicle (IDV)” at FAR 4.601 to include the words “or agreement.”

4. One respondent recommends that references to generic DUNS be removed from FAR 4.605(b)(1) and (2). To prevent generic DUNS abuse, the FPDS Change Control Board voted to not post generic DUNS on the FPDS website. Each Agency would be responsible for communicating what generic DUNS, if any, should be used.

Response: The Councils disagree with the comment. The Councils understand agencies responsibilities associated with deciding which generic DUNS number to use, however, a DUNS number is required to complete a contract action report in FPDS. FAR procedures at 4.605(b) permit the use of generic DUNS numbers and do not interfere with agency responsibilities, as agreed to by the FPDS Change Control Board. A generic DUNS number may be used under the circumstances referenced at FAR 4.605(b)(1). FAR procedures at 4.605(b) remain unchanged.

5. One respondent submitted a comment in reference to FAR Case 2005-040, Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS).

Response: This comment is not relevant to FAR Case 2004-038 and was referred to the FAR Small Business Team for disposition.

6. One respondent submitted a comment in reference to the Federal Register notice, Background, paragraph 5, stating that reporting only the appropriated portions of contract actions would be extremely impractical and result in data mismatches between automated contracting writing systems and FPDS. The respondent indicated that they have many actions that have mixed funding and it would be difficult for contracting staff to identify whether funding was appropriated or non-appropriated. In order to comply with the rule, data would have to be manually entered into FPDS.

Response: The Councils disagree with the comment. FAR 4.606(b)(2) states that agencies may submit actions for any non-appropriated fund (NAF) or NAF portion of a contract action using a mix of appropriated and non-appropriated funding, after contacting the FPDS Start Printed Page 2713Program Office. It should be noted that reporting non-appropriated funds may impact certain reports generated using FPDS data regarding appropriated funds. FAR language remains unchanged.

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, 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 contract reporting is not accomplished by the vendor community, only by Government contracting entities.

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 1, 2, 4, 12, and 52

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Dated: December 24, 2008

Edward Loeb,

Acting Director, Office of Acquisition Policy.

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Accordingly, DoD, GSA, and NASA adopt the interim rule amending

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PART 4—ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

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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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[Amended]
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2. Amend section 4.601 by removing from the introductory paragraph of the definition “Indefinite delivery vehicle (IDV)” the word “contract” and adding “contract or agreement” in its place.

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[FR Doc. E9-556 Filed 1-14-09; 8:45 am]

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