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Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2009-018, Payrolls and Basic Records

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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:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) are issuing an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to revise the FAR clause, Payrolls and Basic Records. This revision implements a Department of Labor rule to protect the privacy of workers.

DATES:

Effective Date: June 16, 2010.

Comment Date: Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat on or before August 16, 2010 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by FAC 2005-42, FAR Case 2009-018, by any of the following methods:

Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting “FAR Case 2009-018” under the heading “Enter Keyword or ID” and selecting “Search”. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “FAR Case 2009-018”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2009-018” 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.

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAC 2005-42, FAR Case 2009-018, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://Start Printed Page 34287www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For clarification of content, contact Mr. Ernest Woodson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-3775. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-42, FAR Case 2009-018.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

This interim rule incorporates changes from the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule, Protecting the Privacy of Workers: Labor Standards Provisions Applicable to Contracts Covering Federally Financed and Assisted Construction, published in the Federal Register at 73 FR 77504 on December 19, 2008, that removed the requirement to submit complete social security numbers and home addresses of individual workers in weekly payroll submissions. The DOL concluded that such disclosure of personal information from the prime contractor was unnecessary and created an increased risk of privacy violations.

B. Discussion

As a result of the changes that DOL instituted regarding the submission of payroll data, the clause at FAR 52.222-8, Payrolls and Basic Records, is revised to delete the requirement for submission of full social security numbers and home addresses of individual workers from the prime contractor on weekly transmittals. Instead the payrolls shall only need to include an individually identifying number for each employee (e.g., the last four digits of the employee’s social security number). The information may be submitted in any form desired, but this rule provides a link to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division website where Optional Form WH-347 is available for the purpose of submitting payroll information. The rule requires contractors and subcontractors to maintain the full social security number and current address of each covered worker, and shall provide them upon request to the contracting officer, the contractor, or the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL for purposes of an investigation or audit of compliance with prevailing wage requirements.

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.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Councils do not expect this interim 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 this rule provides relief for contractors from submitting more personal information than is necessary in the weekly payroll submissions and will not impose any measurable costs on contractors. Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has 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 parts 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 (FAC 2005-42, FAR Case 2009-018) in all correspondence.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act does apply; however, these changes to the FAR do not impose additional information collection requirements to the paperwork burden previously approved under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number 1215-0149, assigned to the DOL. The interim rule affects the certification and information collection requirements in the provisions at FAR 52.222-8(b)(1) and 53.303-WH-347. The impact of this requirement will not impose any measurable costs on any private or public sector entity. As stated in the DOL rule, the Department believes that a reduction in the amount of information required on certified payrolls provided weekly under the Davis-Bacon Act is a reduction in regulatory compliance costs. While some contractors may have to slightly reconfigure their systems to produce the revised version, most have access to computerized systems that can easily be revised to remove data. Those contractors who currently use the Optional Form WH-347 will actually have an overall decrease of total administrative costs. The DOL published a notice in the Federal Register at 74 FR 2862 on January 16, 2009, announcing that the OMB approved the DOL information collection request titled “Protecting the Privacy of Workers: Labor Standards Provisions Applicable to Contracts Covering Federally Financed and Assisted Construction, Effectiveness of Information Collection Requirements”.

E. Determination to Issue an Interim Rule

A determination has been made under the authority of the Secretary of Defense (DoD), the Administrator of General Services (GSA), and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that urgent and compelling reasons exist to promulgate this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. This action is necessary because the DOL has already published a final rule in the Federal Register at 73 FR 77504 on December 19, 2008, deleting the requirement for submission of full social security numbers and home addresses of employees as part of weekly payroll submissions for prime contractors. The effective date of the DOL rule was January 18, 2009. However, pursuant to Public Law 98-577 and FAR 1.501-3(b), the Councils will consider public comments received in response to this interim rule in the formation of the final rule.

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 52 and 53

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Dated: June 2, 2010.

Edward Loeb,

Acting Director, Acquisition Policy Division.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend

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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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PART 52—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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2. Amend section 52.222-8 by revising the date of the clause and paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:

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Payrolls and Basic Records.
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PAYROLLS AND BASIC RECORDS (JUN 2010)

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(b)(1) The Contractor shall submit weekly for each week in which any contract work is performed a copy of all payrolls to the Contracting Officer. The payrolls submitted shall set out accurately and completely all of the information required to be maintained under paragraph(a) of this clause, except that full social security numbers and home addresses shall not be included on weekly transmittals. Instead the payrolls shall only need to include an Start Printed Page 34288individually identifying number for each employee (e.g., the last four digits of the employee's social security number). The required weekly payroll information may be submitted in any form desired. Optional Form WH-347 is available for this purpose and may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division website at http://www.dol.gov/​whd/​forms/​wh347.pdf. The Prime Contractor is responsible for the submission of copies of payrolls by all subcontractors. Contractors and subcontractors shall maintain the full social security number and current address of each covered worker, and shall provide them upon request to the Contracting Officer, the Contractor, or the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor for purposes of an investigation or audit of compliance with prevailing wage requirements. It is not a violation of this section for a Prime Contractor to require a subcontractor to provide addresses and social security numbers to the Prime Contractor for its own records, without weekly submission to the Contracting Officer.

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PART 53—FORMS

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3. Amend section 53.303-WH-347 by revising the form to read as follows:

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53.303-WH-347 Department of Labor Form WH-347, Payroll (For Contractor's Optional Use).

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BILLING CODE 6820-EP-S

[FR Doc. 2010-14182 Filed 6-15-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-EP-C