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Proposed Rule

Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2009-006, Labor Relations Costs

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) propose to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement Executive Order 13494, Economy in Government Contracting, issued on January 30, 2009, and amended on October 30, 2009. This order treats as unallowable the costs of any activities undertaken to persuade employees, whether employees of the recipient of Federal disbursements or of any other entity, to exercise or not to exercise, or concerning the manner of exercising, the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of the employee's own choosing.

DATES:

Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat on or before June 14, 2010 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by FAR case 2009-006 by any of the following methods:

  • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting “FAR Case 2009-006” under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and selecting “Search.” Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “FAR Case 2009-006.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2009-006” on your attached document.
  • Fax: 202-501-4067.
  • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), 1800 F Street, NW., Room 4041, ATTN: Hada Flowers, Washington, DC 20405.Start Printed Page 19346

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR case 2009-006, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Edward Chambers, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-3221, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAR case 2009-006.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

Executive Order 13494, Economy in Government Contracting, dated January 30, 2009, was published in the Federal Register at 74 FR 6101 on February 4, 2009, as amended on October 30, 2009, was published in the Federal Register at 74 FR 57239 on November 5, 2009, provided that to promote economy and efficiency in Government contracting, certain costs that are not directly related to the contractor's provision of goods and services to the Government shall be unallowable for payment, thereby directly reducing Government expenditures. Thus, this order states that the costs of the activities of preparing and distributing materials; hiring or consulting legal counsel or consultants; holding meetings (including paying the salaries of the attendees at meetings held for this purpose); and planning or conducting activities by managers, supervisors, or union representatives during work hours, when they are undertaken to persuade employees to exercise or not to exercise, or concern the manner of exercising, rights to organize and bargain collectively are unallowable costs. This order is consistent with Government policy to remain impartial concerning any labor-management dispute involving Government contractors. This proposed rule will make the necessary changes within the FAR.

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 Councils do not expect this proposed rule to 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 most contracts awarded to small entities use simplified acquisition procedures or are awarded on a competitive fixed-price basis, and do not require application of the cost principles contained in this rule. Further, the practical effect of the rule will be that contractors will no longer be reimbursed for costs incurred in promoting or opposing union organizing. It is substantially less likely that small businesses will incur costs of this nature. An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has, therefore, not been performed. The Councils invite comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

The Councils will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in FAR part 31 affected by this rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (FAR Case 2009-006) in all correspondence.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the proposed 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.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 31

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Dated: April 9, 2010.

Edward Loeb,

Acting Director, Acquisition Policy Division.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose amending 48 CFR part 31 as set forth below:

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PART 31—CONTRACT COSTS PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES

1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 31 continues to read as follows:

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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. Revise section 31.205-21 to read as follows:

Labor relations costs.

(a) Costs incurred in maintaining satisfactory relations between the contractor and its employees (other than those made unallowable in paragraph (b) of this section), including costs of shop stewards, labor management committees, employee publications, and other related activities, are allowable.

(b) As required by Executive Order 13494, Economy in Government Contracting, costs of any activities undertaken to persuade employees, of any entity, to exercise or not to exercise, or concerning the manner of exercising, the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of the employees' own choosing are unallowable. Examples of unallowable costs in paragraph (b) of this section include, but are not limited to, the costs of—

(1) Preparing and distributing materials;

(2) Hiring or consulting legal counsel or consultants;

(3) Meetings (including paying the salaries of the attendees at meetings held for this purpose); and

(4) Planning or conducting activities by managers, supervisors, or union representatives during work hours.

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[FR Doc. 2010-8504 Filed 4-13-10; 8:45 am]

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