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Federal Acquisition Regulation; Oversight of Contractor Ethics Programs

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add to the list of contract administration functions, the function to ensure that contractors have implemented the mandatory contractor business ethics program requirements.

DATES:

Effective Date: June 30, 2011.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Anthony Robinson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-2658, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-52, FAR Case 2010-017.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

This final rule amends the FAR in response to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report GAO-09-591, Defense Contracting Integrity—Opportunities Exist to Improve DoD's Oversight of Contractor Ethics Programs. The ethics program requirement flows from FAR 52.203-13, Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.

This final rule modifies FAR 42.302, Contract Administration Functions, to add to the list of contract administration functions, the function to ensure that contractors have implemented the mandatory contractor business ethics program requirements of FAR 52.203-13.

II. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

III. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule because this final rule does not constitute a significant FAR revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501-1 and 41 U.S.C. 1707. However, DoD, GSA, and NASA will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected FAR part in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610, et seq. (FAC 2005-52, FAR Case 2010-017) in correspondence.

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

The final rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

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List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 42

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Dated: May 18, 2011.

Millisa Gary,

Acting Director, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend 48 CFR part 42 as set forth below:

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PART 42—CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION AND AUDIT SERVICES

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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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2. Amend section 42.302 by adding paragraph (a)(71) to read as follows:

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Contract administration functions.

(a) * * *

(71) Ensure that the contractor has implemented the requirements of 52.203-13, Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct.

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[FR Doc. 2011-12855 Filed 5-27-11; 8:45 am]

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