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Proposed Rule

EPAAR Clause for Level of Effort-Cost-Reimbursement Contract

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amends the EPA Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) to update policy, procedures, and contract clauses. The proposed rule updates the EPAAR clause Level of Effort—Cost-Reimbursement Term Contract, modifies the clause title, and updates the corresponding EPAAR clause prescription.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before May 11, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2012-0478, by one of the following methods:

  • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: valentino.thomas@ epa.gov
  • Mail: EPA-HQ-OARM-2012-0478, OEI Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please include a total of three (3) copies.
  • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center-Attention OEI Docket, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-2012-0478. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ”anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket, and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment, and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties, and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http:// www.epa.gov/​ epahome/ dockets.htm.

Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov, or in hard copy at the Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket, EPA/ DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the EPA Docket Center is (202) 566-1752. This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas Valentino, Policy, Training, and Oversight Division, Office of Acquisition Management (3802R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-4522; email address: valentino.thomas@ epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the Start Printed Page 19257disk or CD ROM as CBI, and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

  • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).
  • Follow directions—The Agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
  • Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, and substitute language for your requested changes.
  • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/ or data that you used.
  • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.
  • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.
  • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.
  • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

II. Background

The EPA reviewed EPAAR clause 1552.211-73, Level of Effort—Cost-Reimbursement Term Contract, to make the clause more prescriptive in describing the EPA's responsibilities when the Agency orders less level of effort (LOE) than the maximum LOE specified in the subject clause; e.g., if the clause specifies 100,000 hours for a given period of performance but the contractor only provides 70,000 hours. The clause provides that a downward equitable adjustment will be made to reduce the fixed fee by the percentage by which the total expended LOE is less than 100% of that specified in the LOE clause; e.g., the fixed fee amount will be reduced by 30% using the same 100,000/ 70,000 hours example. The clause title is also modified so that the clause is now applicable to EPA LOE cost-reimbursement contracts. The EPAAR 1511.011-73 clause prescription is also being updated accordingly.

III. Proposed Rule

This proposed rule amends the EPAAR to revise the following:

1. The EPAAR 1511.011-73 clause prescription is updated.

2. The clause title is revised as follows: Level of Effort—Cost-Reimbursement Contract.

3. Paragraph (a) has been revised.

4. An expositional statement has been added to paragraph (c).

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review

This action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order (EO)12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and therefore, not subject to review under the EO.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. No information is collected under this action.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as Amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et. seq.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute; unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

For purposes of assessing the impact of today's final rule on small entities, “small entity” is defined as: (1) A small business that meets the definition of a small business found in the Small Business Act and codified at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.

After considering the economic impacts of this rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This action revises a current EPAAR provision and does not impose requirements involving capital investment, implementing procedures, or record keeping. This rule will not have a significant economic impact on small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, Local, and Tribal governments and the private sector.

This rule contains no federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of the Title II of the UMRA) for State, Local, and Tribal governments or the private sector. The rule imposes no enforceable duty on any State, Local or Tribal governments or the private sector. Thus, the rule is not subject to the requirements of Sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and Local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.”

This rule does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government as specified in Executive Order 13132.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This rule does not have Start Printed Page 19258tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), applies to any rule that: (1) is determined to be economically significant as defined under Executive Order 12886, and (2) concerns an environmental health or safety risk that may have a proportionate effect on children. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not an economically significant rule as defined by Executive Order 12866, and because it does not involve decisions on environmental health or safety risks.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution of Use” (66 FR 28335 (MAY 22, 2001), because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA)

Section 12(d) (15 U.S.C 272 note) of NTTA, Public Law 104-113, directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in it's regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTA directs EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.

This proposed rulemaking does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.

EPA has determined that this proposed rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. This proposed rulemaking does not involve human health or environmental affects.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1511 and 1552

  • Describing Agency Needs; Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: April 3, 2015.

John R. Bashista,

Director, Office of Acquisition Management.

End Signature

Therefore, 48 CFR Chapter 15 is proposed to be amended as set forth below:

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PART 1511—DESCRIBING AGENCY NEEDS

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1. The authority citation for part 1511 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

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2. Revise 1511.011-73 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Level of effort

The Contracting Officer shall insert the clause at 1552.211-73, Level of Effort—Cost Reimbursement Contract, in cost-reimbursement contracts including cost contracts without fee, cost-sharing contracts, cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF) contracts, cost-plus-incentive-fee contracts (CPIF), and cost-plus-award-fee contracts (CPAF).

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PART 1552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

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3. The authority citation for part 1552 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 U.S.C. 418b.

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4. Revise 1552.211-73 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Level of effort—cost-reimbursement contract.

As prescribed in 1511.011-73, the contracting officer shall insert the following contract clause in cost-reimbursement contracts including cost contracts without fee, cost-sharing contracts, cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF) contracts, cost-plus-incentive-fee contracts (CPIF), and cost-plus-award-fee contracts (CPAF).

Level of Effort—Cost-Reimbursement Contract (__2015)

(a) The Contractor shall perform all work and provide all required reports within the level of effort specified below. The Contractor shall provide __ direct labor hours for the base period, which represents the Government's best estimate of the level of effort to fulfill these requirements, and is provided for advisory and estimating purposes. The Government is only obligated to pay for direct labor hours used and corresponding fixed fee for labor hours completed.

(b) Direct labor includes personnel such as engineers, scientists, draftsmen, technicians, statisticians, and programmers, and not support personnel such as company management or data entry/word processing/ accounting personnel even though such support personnel are normally treated as direct labor by the Contractor. The level of effort specified in paragraph (a) includes Contractor, subcontractor, and consultant non-support labor hours.

(c) If the Contractor provides less than 90 percent of the level of effort specified for the base period or any optional period exercised, an equitable downward adjustment of the fixed fee, if any, for that period will be made. The downward adjustment will reduce the fixed fee by the percentage by which the total expended level of effort is less than 100% of that specified in paragraph (a). (For instance, if a hypothetical base-period LOE of 100,000 hours is being reduced to 70,000, the fixed fee shall also be reduced by the same 30%. Using a corresponding hypothetical base-period fixed fee pool of $300,000, the reduced fixed-fee amount is calculated as: $300,000 × (70,000 hours/100,000 hours) = $210,000.)

(d) The Government may require the Contractor to provide additional effort up to 110 percent of the level of effort for any period until the estimated cost for that period has been reached. However, this additional effort shall not result in any increase in the fixed fee, if any. If this is a cost-plus-incentive-fee (CPIF) contract, the term “fee” in this paragraph means “base fee and incentive fee.” If this is a cost-plus-award-fee (CPAF) contract, the term “fee” in this paragraph means “base fee and award fee.”

(e) If the level of effort specified to be ordered during a given base or option period is not ordered during that period, that level of effort may not be accumulated and ordered during a subsequent period.

(f) These terms and conditions do not supersede the requirements of either the “Limitation of Cost” or “Limitation of Funds” clauses.

(End of clause)

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[FR Doc. 2015-08183 Filed 4-9-15; 8:45 am]

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