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Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement; Ships Bunkers Easy Acquisition (SEA) Card® and Aircraft Ground Services (DFARS Case 2009-D019)

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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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AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD is issuing a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to allow the use of U.S. Government fuel cards in lieu of a Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher for fuel, oil, and refueling-related items for purchases not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold.

DATES:

Effective Date: September 20, 2011.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Dustin Pitsch, telephone 703-602-0289.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

DoD published a proposed rule in the Federal register at 76 FR 21849 on April 19, 2011, to add language to Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 213.306(a)(1)(A) to include purchases of marine fuel, oil, and refueling-related items up to the simplified acquisition threshold using the Ships Bunkers Easy Acquisition (SEA) Card® in lieu of the SF 44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher. Additionally, this section is revised to include additional ground refueling-related services when using the AIR Card®. These changes for use of the AIR Card® and SEA Card® will improve the refueling capability of aircraft and smaller vessels at non-contract locations. No public comments were received in response to the proposed rule.

II. Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

Executive Orders 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 Start Printed Page 58150equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 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.

III. Regulatory Flexibility Act

A final regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared consistent with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., and is summarized as follows:

This is a final rule to revise the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) at 213 to permit the use of U.S. Government fuel cards in lieu of an SF 44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher, for fuel, oil, and refueling-related items for purchases not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold. The objective of this rule is to amend DFARS 213.306(a)(1)(A) to (1) Permit the purchase of marine fuel using the Ships' bunkers Easy Acquisition (SEA) Card® in lieu of the SF44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher, up to the simplified acquisition threshold and (2) provide additional ground refueling-related services when using the AIR Card®. The legal basis is 41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

Purchases of aviation fuel are on-the-spot, over the counter transactions (“gas and go”), but generally exceed the micro-purchase threshold due to the price of aviation fuel and oil fuel tank capacities. Previously, the threshold for SF44/AIR Card® purchases of fuel and oil was set at the simplified acquisition threshold at DFARS 213.306(a)(1)(A)) under DFARS Case 2007-D017 (see final rule published at 72 FR 6484 on February 12, 2007).

The military services and the U.S. Coast Guard have small vessels that fulfill valid mission needs in direct support of national security. Unlike larger vessels, small vessels' movements and needs are often unpredictable. These small vessels must procure fuel away from their home stations, but because of their smaller size and unique mission requirements are unable to use the Defense Logistics Agency energy bunkers contracts available at major seaports. Due to port restrictions, bunkering merchants do not typically provide support to smaller vessels. Instead, these smaller vessels frequent non-contract merchants or “marina-type merchants” that otherwise serve civilian recreational watercraft and similar needs.

No public comments were received in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

Approximately 80% of “marina-type merchants” are considered small businesses. Marina-type merchants accepting the SEA Card® will pay a normal fee to the banking institution or processing center, similar to VISA charges these merchants incur from other credit card clients. In addition, merchants are expected to benefit from accelerated payments, since they will be paid by the banking institution in accordance with their merchant agreement. The rule facilitates open market purchases, benefits merchants by making it much easier for merchants to do business with the military and will not have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors, subcontractors, or offerors.

DoD does not expect this 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 the rule does not have a significant effect beyond DoD's internal operating procedures, substituting the use of a fuel card (AIR Card® and SEA Card®) in lieu of the SF44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher.

IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

This 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 213

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Mary Overstreet,

Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

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Therefore, 48 CFR part 213 is amended as follows:

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PART 213—SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

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2. Section 213.306 is amended to revise paragraph (a)(1)(A) to read as follows:

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SF 44, Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher.

(a)(1) * * *

(A) Fuel and oil. U.S. Government fuel cards may be used in lieu of an SF 44 for fuel, oil, and authorized refueling-related items (see PGI 213.306 for procedures on use of fuel cards);

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[FR Doc. 2011-23944 Filed 9-19-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-08-P