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Notice

Submission for OMB Review; Payments

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCIES:

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

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 Payments. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 77 FR 43080, on July 23, 2012. One respondent submitted comments.

Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and 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 February 25, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0070, Payments, by any of the following methods:

Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “Information Collection 9000-0070, Payments”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0070, Payments” 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 9000-0070, Payments.

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0070, Payments, 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Edward Chambers, Procurement Analyst, Office of Acquisition Policy, GSA at (202) 501-3221 or Email at Edward.chambers@gsa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Purpose

Firms performing under Federal contracts must provide adequate documentation to support requests for payment under these contracts. The documentation may range from a simple invoice to detailed cost data. The information is usually submitted once, at the end of the contract period or upon delivery of the supplies, but could be submitted more often depending on the payment schedule established under the contract (see FAR 52.232-1 through 52.232-4, and FAR 52.232-6 through 52.232-11). The information is used to determine the proper amount of payments to Federal contractors.

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 documentation necessary to support requests for payment under Government contracts. The documentation may range from a simple invoice to detailed cost data. The information is usually submitted once, at the end of the contract period or upon delivery of the supplies, but could be submitted more often depending on the payment schedule established under the contract (see FAR 52.232-1 through 52.232-11). The information is used to determine the proper amount of payments to Federal contractors. Absent this documentation, which serves as the basis for contract payments, the Government would be prevented from making such payments.Start Printed Page 5445

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 the estimate of 120 responses per respondent is understated, and proposed that the number of responses for many respondents, particularly large government contractors, exceeds 1,000 responses per year. Additionally, the respondent stated that the estimate of .025 hours of burden per response is unrealistically low given the level of documentation required to support requests for payment, especially on certain contracts, and proposed that contractors will expend an amount of effort more than 100 times the estimate of .025 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 estimates of responses and burden hours, the estimates cannot be confirmed with any degree of certainty to totally rely on the information. However, it is determined that an upward adjustment is warranted at this time based upon consideration of the information provided in the public comment. The information collection requirement has been revised to reflect an overall increase in the total public burden hours.

C. Annual Reporting Burden

Respondents: 80,000.

Responses per Respondent: 120.

Total Responses: 9,600,000.

Hours per Response: .25.

Total Burden Hours: 2,400,000.

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. 9000-0070, Payments, in all correspondence.

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Dated: January 17, 2013.

William Clark,

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

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[FR Doc. 2013-01438 Filed 1-24-13; 8:45 am]

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