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Federal Acquisition Regulation; Submission for OMB Review; Debarment and Suspension

Document Details

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:

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

ACTION:

Notice of request for an extension to an 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 debarment and suspension. A notice was published in the Federal Register at 77 FR 43079, on July 23, 2012. One comment was received.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before April 22, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0094, Debarment and Suspension, 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 9000-0094, Debarment and Suspension”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0094, Debarment and Suspension” 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 9000-0094, Debarment and Suspension.

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0094, Debarment and Suspension, 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:

Ms. Patricia Corrigan, Procurement Analyst, Office of Acquisition Policy, at (202) 208-1963 or via email at Patricia.Corrigan@gsa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Purpose

The FAR requires contracts to be awarded to only those contractors determined to be responsible. Instances where a firm, its principals, or subcontractors, have been indicted, convicted, suspended, proposed for debarment, debarred, or had a contract terminated for default are critical factors to be considered by a Government contracting officer in making a responsibility determination. FAR 52.209-5 and 52.212-3(h), Certification Regarding Responsibility Matters, and FAR 52.209-6, Protecting the Government's Interest when Subcontracting with Contractors Debarred, Suspended, or Proposed for Debarment, require the disclosure of this information.

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 Required Act (PRA), agencies can request an OMB approval of an existing information collection. The PRA requires that agencies use the Federal Register notice and comment process, to extend the OMB's approval, at least every three years. This extension, to a previously approved information collection, pertains to Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters, FAR Subpart 9.1, Subpart 9.4, 52.209-5, 52.212-3(h) and 52.209-6. This information collection, in compliance with Executive Order 12549, Debarment and Suspension, is necessary to determine the responsibility of prospective contractors, to ensure that contractors protect the interests of the Government when issuing subcontracts under Government contracts, and ensure business integrity in contract performance. Not granting this extension would consequently eliminate a key process for assessing contractor Start Printed Page 17668responsibility and protecting the Government's interests.

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 four responses per contractor per year is unrealistically low because almost all solicitations will include FAR 52.209-5 and 52.212-3(h) * * * we believe, based on the experience of our members, that most companies will be required to meet this requirement from 20 to more than 100 times per year.” Further, the respondent commented that the estimate of 0.083 hours of burden per response was low when considering the time and effort necessary for a company to gather responsibility data. 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. 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 it is determined that an upward adjustment is not required at this time related to the responses per respondent. The estimate of four responses per respondent is based upon contractor use of the Online Representation and Certifications Application (ORCA) function in the System for Award Management (SAM) rather than the completion of representations and certifications for each solicitation/contract for which a vendor submits an offer. The ORCA function was developed to eliminate the administrative burden for contractors of submitting the same information to various contracting offices, and to establish a common source for this information to procurement offices across the Government. Prior to the ORCA function's implementation, prospective contractors were required to submit representations and certifications in paper form for each individual contract award. Under these conditions, a response rate of 20 to more than 100 times per year per contractor as suggested by the respondent may have been necessary. However, using the ORCA function in SAM, a contractor can enter their representations and certification information once for use on all Federal contracts and solicitations. FAR 4.1201(a) requires prospective contractors to complete electronic annual representations and certifications at the SAM Internet site in conjunction with required registration in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) function in SAM. The representations and certifications are effective until one year from the date of submission or update to the ORCA function in SAM. For purposes of this information collection, initial data entry plus three updates per year was considered reasonable and was used to estimate the number of responses per respondent per year, i.e., 4 responses per respondent.

We have reassessed the hours of burden per response based on the respondent's comment, and have determined that an upward estimate of thirty minutes or approximately six times the original estimate of 0.083 would provide a more accurate measure of the time required to complete and review each response.

However, at any point, members of the public may submit comments for further consideration, and are encouraged to provide data to support their request for an adjustment.

C. Annual Reporting Burden

Respondents: 162,000.

Responses per Respondent: 4.

Annual Responses: 648,000.

Hours per Response: 0.50.

Total Burden Hours: 324,000.

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. 9000-0094, Debarment and Suspension, in all correspondence.

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Dated: March 18, 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. 2013-06626 Filed 3-21-13; 8:45 am]

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