Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
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 specifically require the incorporation of FAR clauses 52.222-43, Fair Labor Standards Act and Service Contract Act—Price Adjustment (Multiple Year and Option Contracts) and 52.222-44, Fair Labor Standards Act and Service Contract Act—Price Adjustment, in time-and-materials and labor-hour service contracts that are subject to the Service Contract Act. No comments were received in response to the proposed rule.
Effective Date: September 10, 2009.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For clarification of content, contact Ms. Meredith Murphy, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 208-6925. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-36, FAR case 2007-021.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
This final rule amends the FAR to revise the clause prescriptions at FAR 22.1006(c)(1) and (2) to specifically require that time-and-materials and labor-hour service contracts subject to the Service Contract Act contain the appropriate price adjustment clauses set forth at FAR 52.222-43 and 52.222-44.
DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 74 FR 872 on January 9, 2009.
Despite the fact that the previous prescriptions did not require use of the clauses in time-and-materials or labor-hour contracts, there was actually broad usage of the clause(s) in such contracts. This change will achieve consistency throughout the Government acquisition community and resolve potential inequities where the clauses have not been applied. It will achieve an equitable result for contractors and will also allow the Government to avoid use of other means of adjusting contract unit price labor rates which may be more costly to the Government. Other means of adjusting contract labor rates, such as allowing for wage/benefit escalation, equitable adjustment or economic price adjustment, would likely include profit, overhead, and general and administrative expenses. The FAR clauses at 52.222-43 and 52.222-44 explicitly exclude these additional costs.
The clause prescriptions at FAR 22.1006(c)(1) and (c)(2) currently require that Service Contract Act wage determination updates be applied to contracts subject to the FAR clause at 52.222-41, Service Contract Act of 1965 but, as required by FAR clause 52.222-41, minimum monetary wages and fringe benefits to be paid to service employees under the contract may be subject to adjustment, under wage determinations issued by the Department of Labor. While there may be other means permitted to adjust fixed labor rates on time-and-materials or labor-hour contracts, those other means do not achieve the consistent results that use of the Service Contract Act price adjustment clause(s) will achieve.
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 it merely clarifies the existing prescriptions relating to service contracts. FAR clause 52.222-41 requires contractors to comply with wage determinations of the Department of Labor and may require adjustment to wage rates during the term of the contract. Most contracts that include Start Printed Page 40461this clause therefore provide some mechanism for dealing with the potential required price adjustment. The Councils have been advised that use of these clauses for time-and-materials and labor-hour service contracts is already widespread. Uniform use of the appropriate clause will ensure consistency in the adjustment method for any required increase in wage rate, but should not have a significant cost impact.
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. Chapter 35, et seq.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 22 and 52End List of Subjects Start Signature
Dated: August 4, 2009.
Director, Office of Acquisition Policy.
Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amendEnd Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation forEnd Amendment Part Start Part
PART 22—APPLICATION OF LABOR LAWS TO GOVERNMENT ACQUISITIONS
2. Amend section 22.1006 by removing from paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) “fixed-price” and adding “fixed-price, time-and-materials, or labor-hour” in its place.End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES
3. Amend section 52.212-5 by removing from the date of the clause “(June 2009)” and adding “(Sep 2009)” in its place; by removing from paragraph (c)(3) “(Nov 2006)” and adding “(Sep 2009)” in its place; and by removing from paragraph (c)(4) “(Feb 2002)” and adding “(Sep 2009)” in its place.End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
4. Amend section 52.222-43 by revising the date of the clause, introductory text in paragraph (d), and the third and fourth sentences of paragraph (f) to read as follows:End Amendment Part
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT AND SERVICE CONTRACT ACT—PRICE ADJUSTMENT (MULTIPLE YEAR AND OPTION CONTRACTS) (Sep 2009)
(d) The contract price, contract unit price labor rates, or fixed hourly labor rates will be adjusted to reflect the Contractor's actual increase or decrease in applicable wages and fringe benefits to the extent that the increase is made to comply with or the decrease is voluntarily made by the Contractor as a result of:
(f) * * * The notice shall contain a statement of the amount claimed and the change in fixed hourly rates (if this is a time-and-materials or labor-hour contract), and any relevant supporting data, including payroll records, that the Contracting Officer may reasonably require. Upon agreement of the parties, the contract price, contract unit price labor rates, or fixed hourly rates shall be modified in writing. * * *
5. Amend section 52.222-44 by revising the date of the clause, introductory text of paragraph (c), and the third and fourth sentences of paragraph (e) to read as follows:End Amendment Part
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT AND SERVICE CONTRACT ACT—PRICE ADJUSTMENT (Sep 2009)
(c) The contract price, contract unit price labor rates, or fixed hourly labor rates will be adjusted to reflect increases or decreases by the Contractor in wages and fringe benefits to the extent that these increases or decreases are made to comply with—
(e) * * * The notice shall contain a statement of the amount and the change in fixed hourly rates (if this is a time-and-materials or labor-hour contract) claimed and any relevant supporting data that the Contracting Officer may reasonably require. Upon agreement of the parties, the contract price, contract unit price labor rates, or fixed hourly rates shall be modified in writing. * * *
[FR Doc. E9-19163 Filed 8-10-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-EP-S