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Notice

Federal Acquisition Regulation; Submission for OMB Review; Professional Employee Compensation Plan

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ACTION:

Notice of request for comments regarding the extension of a previously existing OMB clearance.

SUMMARY:

Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a previously approved information collection requirement concerning submission of a Professional Employee Compensation Plan. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 77 FR 45612, on August 1, 2012. One respondent submitted comments.

Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary; whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before January 10, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0066, Professional Employee Compensation Plan by any of the following methods:

  • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0066, Professional Employee Compensation Plan”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0066, Professional Employee Compensation Plan” on your attached document.
  • Fax: 202-501-4067.
  • Mail: General Services. Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20417. ATTN: Hada Flowers/IC 9000-0066, Professional Employee Compensation Plan.

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0066, Professional Employee Compensation Plan, in all correspondence related to this collection. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Edward Loeb, Procurement Analyst, Office of Acquisition Policy, GSA, (202) 501-3775 or email Edward.loeb@gsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Purpose

FAR 22.1103 requires that all professional employees are compensated fairly and properly. Accordingly, FAR 52.222-46, Evaluation of Compensation for Professional Employees, is required to be inserted in solicitations for negotiated service contracts when the contract amount is expected to exceed $650,000 and the service to be provided will require meaningful numbers of professional employees. The purpose of the provision at FAR 52.222-46 is to require offerors to submit for evaluation a total compensation plan setting forth proposed salaries and fringe benefits for professional employees working on the contract. Plans indicating unrealistically low professional employees' compensation may be assessed adversely as one of the factors considered in making a contract award.

B. Analysis of Public Comments

One respondent submitted public comments on the extension of the previously approved information collection. The analysis of the public comments is summarized as follows:

Comment: The respondent commented that the extension of the information collection would violate the fundamental purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act because of the burden it puts on the entity submitting the information and the agency collecting the information.

Response: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), agencies can request OMB approval of an existing information collection. The PRA requires that agencies use the Federal Register notice and comment process, to extend OMB's approval, at least every three years. This extension, to a previously approved information collection, pertains to the provision at FAR 52.222-46, Evaluation of Compensation for Professional Employees, in solicitations for negotiated service contracts when the contract amount is expected to exceed $650,000 and the service to be provided will require meaningful numbers of professional employees. The purpose of the provision at FAR 52.222-46 is to require offerors to submit for evaluation a total compensation plan setting forth proposed salaries and fringe benefits for professional employees working on the contract. Plans indicating unrealistically low professional employees' compensation may be assessed adversely as one of the factors considered in making a contract award. Not granting this extension would remove Government evaluators' discretion to adversely assess offers containing unrealistically low professional employees' compensation, and would result in the Government's inability to ensure that professional employees are fairly and properly compensated for their work.

Comment: The respondent commented that the agency did not accurately estimate the public burden challenging that the agency's methodology for calculating it is insufficient and inadequate and does not reflect the total burden. The respondent stated that the estimate of one response per respondent annually and .5 hours of burden per response is understated, many companies submit upwards of 100 plans per year, and the burden is more likely in the range of five hours. For this reason, the respondent provided that the agency should reassess the estimated total burden hours and revise the estimate upwards to be more accurate, as was done in FAR Case 2007-006. The same respondent also provided that the burden of compliance with the information collection requirement greatly exceeds the agency's estimate and outweighs any potential utility of the extension.

Response: Serious consideration is given, during the open comment period, to all comments received and adjustments are made to the paperwork burden estimate based on reasonable considerations provided by the public. This is evidenced, as the respondent notes, in FAR Case 2007-006 where an adjustment was made from the total preparation hours from three to 60. This change was made considering particularly the hours that would be required for review within the company, prior to release to the Government.

The burden is prepared taking into consideration the necessary criteria in OMB guidance for estimating the paperwork burden put on the entity submitting the information. For example, consideration is given to an entity reviewing instructions; using technology to collect, process, and disclose information; adjusting existing practices to comply with requirements; searching data sources; completing and reviewing the response; and transmitting or disclosing information. The estimated burden hours for a collection are based on an average between the hours that a simple disclosure by a very small business might require and the much higher numbers that might be required for a very complex disclosure by a major corporation. Also, the estimated burden hours should only include projected hours for those actions which a company would not undertake in the normal course of business. Careful consideration went into assessing the estimated burden hours for this collection, and although, the respondent provided specific estimates of responses and burden hours, the estimates cannot be confirmed. However, it is determined that an upward adjustment is warranted at this time based upon consideration of the information provided in the public comment and updated Federal Procurement Data System information. The information collection requirement has been revised to reflect an overall increase in the total public burden hours from 4,335 to 52,220.

C. Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden

Respondents: 13,055.

Responses per Respondent: 3.

Total Responses: 39,165.

Hours per Response: 1.333333.

Total Burden Hours: 52,220.

Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20417, telephone (202) 501-4755. Please cite OMB Control No. 9000-0066, Professional Employee Compensation Plan, in all correspondence.

Dated: December 3, 2012.

William Clark,

Acting Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.

[FR Doc. 2012-29888 Filed 12-10-12; 8:45 am]

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