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Proposed Rule

Federal Acquisition Regulation; Review and Justification of Pass-Through Contracts

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement section 802 of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013. This section provides additional requirements relative to the review and justification of Pass-Through contracts.

DATES:

Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat at one of the addressees shown below on or before September 9, 2014 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in response to FAR Case 2013-012 by any of the following methods:

  • Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for “FAR Case 2013-012”. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “FAR Case 2013-012.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Comment Now” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FAR Case 2013-012” on your attached document.
  • Fax: 202-501-4067.
  • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Flowers, 1800 F Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR Case 2013-012, in all correspondence related to this case. 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:

Mr. Edward N. Chambers, Procurement Analyst, at 202-501-3221, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAR Case 2013-012.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 was signed into law and effective on December 31, 2012. Section 802 of the law provides additional requirements relative to the review and justification of Pass-Through contracts. Specifically, this law requires in those instances where an offeror for a contract, task order, or delivery order informs the agency pursuant to FAR 52.215-22 of their intention to award subcontracts for more than 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under the contract, task order, or delivery order, the contracting officer is required to (1) consider the availability of alternative contract vehicles and the feasibility of contracting directly with a subcontractor or subcontractors that will perform the bulk of the work; (2) make a written determination that the contracting approach selected is in the best interest of the Government; and (3) document the basis for such determination. Therefore, FAR 15.404-1(h) is being created by this rule to implement these statutory requirements.

However, Section 1615 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2014, which was signed into law and effective on December 26, 2013, provides that for contracts under the provisions of Section 46 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 657s) the requirements under Section 802 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2013 do not apply. Accordingly, the proposed rule exempts FAR Part 19 acquisitions.

While Section 802 only applies to contracts with the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the United States Agency for International Development, for the purpose of consistency, it was decided to apply the section's requirements to all of the agencies subject to the FAR.

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

DoD, GSA, and NASA do not expect this proposed 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 augments the current responsibilities of contracting officers relative to the review and justification of pass-through contracts and does not initiate or impose any new administrative or performance requirements on contractors.

Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has not been performed. DoD, GSA, and NASA invite comments from small business entities concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities.

DoD, GSA, and NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by the rule consistent with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties Start Printed Page 39362must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610, FAR Case 2013-012, in correspondence.

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 15

  • Government procurement
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Dated: July 2, 2014.

William Clark,

Acting Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.

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Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose to amend 48 CFR part 15 as set forth below:

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PART 15—CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION

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1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 15 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113.

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2. Amend section 15.404-1 by adding paragraph (h) to read as follows.

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Proposal analysis techniques.
* * * * *

(h) Review and justification of pass-through contracts. (1) The requirements of this paragraph (h) are applicable to all agencies. The requirements apply by law to the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the United States Agency for International Development, per Section 802 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013. The requirements apply as a matter of policy to other Federal agencies.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(3) of this section, when an offeror for a contract or a task or delivery order informs the contracting officer pursuant to 52.215-22 that it intends to award subcontracts for more than 70 percent of the total cost of work to be performed under the contract, task or delivery order, the contracting officer shall—

(i) Consider the availability of alternative contract vehicles and the feasibility of contracting directly with a subcontractor or subcontractors that will perform the bulk of the work;

(ii) Make a written determination that the contracting approach selected is in the best interest of the Government; and

(iii) Document the basis for such determination.

(3) Contract actions under FAR Part 19 are exempt from the requirements of this paragraph (h).

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[FR Doc. 2014-16149 Filed 7-9-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-14-P