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Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2008-017, Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-247)

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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).

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ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have adopted, as final, with no changes, an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-247), which encourages executive agencies and their contractors, in contracts for the provision, service, or sale of food, to the maximum extent practicable and safe, to donate apparently wholesome excess food to nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to food-insecure people in the United States.

DATES:

Effective Date: December 10, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For clarification of content, contact Mr. Michael Jackson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 208-4949. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-38, FAR case 2008-017.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

The Federal Food Donation Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-247) encourages Federal agencies and their contractors to donate excess food to nonprofit organizations serving the needy. The Act requires Federal contracts above $25,000 for the provision, service, or sale of food in the United States, to include a clause that encourages, but does not require, the donation of excess food to nonprofit organizations. The Act would also extend to the Government and the contractor, when donating food, the same civil or criminal liability protection provided to donors of food under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996.

The final rule is applicable to contracts above $25,000 for the provision, service, or sale of food in the United States (i.e., food supply or food service). The type of solicitations and contract actions anticipated to be applicable to this law will mostly be for fixed-price commercial services; however, there may be circumstances when a noncommercial and/or cost-reimbursement requirement may apply. For example, on an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity cost-reimbursement contract for logistical support to be performed in the United States, there may be a task order needed to provide food service to feed personnel.

The interim rule was published in the Federal Register at 74 FR 11829 on March 19, 2009, with an effective date of March 19, 2009, and a request for comments by May 18, 2009. Three respondents submitted comments in response to the interim rule. Below are the comments received on the interim rule along with the responses.

Comment 1, FAR matrix. One commenter had several comments about errors in the FAR matrix.

Response: There were several inadvertent errors that were made on the FAR clause matrix. These errors have been corrected and are reflected in the FAR clause matrix issued with the final rule.

Comment 2, Applicability for non-appropriated funds. The commenter expresses uncertainty as to whether this rule is applicable to their typical (non-appropriated funds) cafeteria contracts. The clause at FAR 52.226-6 is to be included in solicitations and contracts greater than $25,000 for the provision, service, or sale of food in the United States. Is the $25,000 threshold intended to mean that amount of the appropriated funding, or can it also be satisfied by the sales volume? Will there be additional GSA financial management regulation guidance planned?

Response: The FAR only covers contracts made with appropriated funds. The rule is applicable to contracts greater than $25,000 for the provision, service, or sale of food in the United States. This means the dollar amount of the contract only, not sales volume. GSA has jurisdiction over changes to the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) and we anticipate a change in the FMR to address this requirement.

Comment 3, Implementation of the Federal Food Donation Act of 2008. The benefits of this rule's implementation are evident based on the widespread support the Act received. The assistance it will provide to food insecure persons is truly important. This is especially crucial during these difficult economic times. Food suppliers will receive the listed benefits, as well as be protected against litigation by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Based on these reasons, we urge you to encourage the passage of this rule and implement it as quickly as possible.

Response: The interim rule was effective on the publication date of March 19, 2009. This means the rule has been implemented and is effective as of that date. The final rule adopts the interim rule as final, without change.

This is a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was 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 this rule is not mandatory for contractors, including small businesses.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act (Pub. L. 96-511) does not apply because the final rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, et seq.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 26, 31, and 52

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Dated: November 30, 2009.

Al Matera,

Director, Acquisition Policy Division.

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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. E9-28933 Filed 12-9-09; 8:45 am]

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