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Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of DFARS Clause “Oral Attestation of Security Responsibilities” (DFARS Case 2019-D006)

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AGENCY:

Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

DoD is issuing a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to remove a clause that is no longer necessary.

DATES:

Effective April 1, 2019.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Carrie Moore, telephone 571-372-6093.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

DoD is amending the DFARS to remove DFARS clause 252.204-7005, Oral Attestation of Security Responsibilities, and the associated clause prescription at DFARS 204.404-70. This clause is included in solicitations and contracts when the contractor may require access to classified information and requires certain cleared contractor employees to attest orally that they will conform to requisite security responsibilities by reading aloud the first paragraph of Standard Form 312, Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement, in the presence of a person designated by the contractor and a witness. The purpose of this clause was to make individuals more aware of the significance of the access being granted to them. Upon further review, DoD subject matter experts determined that the clause is not necessary to safeguard classified information in industry. In addition, the Industrial Security Regulation and National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual contain the requisite policies and procedures to safeguard Government classified information released to contractors, licensees, and grantees of the Government. Neither of these documents require contractor employees to attest orally to their security responsibilities, as required by the clause. As such, this DFARS clause is no longer necessary and can be removed.

The removal of this DFARS text supports a recommendation from the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force. On February 24, 2017, the President signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” which established a Federal policy “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens” on the American people. In accordance with E.O. 13777, DoD established a Regulatory Reform Task Force to review and validate DoD regulations, including the DFARS. A public notice of the establishment of the DFARS Subgroup to the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force, for the purpose of reviewing DFARS provisions and clauses, was published in the Federal Register at 82 FR 35741 on August 1, 2017, and requested public input. No public comments were received on this clause. The DoD Task Force reviewed the requirements of DFARS clause 252.204-7005, Oral Attestation of Security Responsibilities, and determined that the DFARS coverage was unnecessary and recommended removal.

II. Applicability to Contracts at or Below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and for Commercial Items, Including Commercially Available Off-the-Shelf Items

This rule only removes obsolete DFARS clause 252.204-7005, Oral Attestation of Security Responsibilities. The rule does not impose any new requirements on contracts at or below the simplified acquisition threshold and for commercial items, including commercially available off-the-shelf items.

III. Publication of This Final Rule for Public Comment Is Not Required by Statute

The statute that applies to the publication of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is Office of Federal Procurement Policy statute (codified at title 41 of the United States Code). Specifically, 41 U.S.C. 1707(a)(1) requires that a procurement policy, regulation, procedure or form (including an amendment or modification thereof) must be published for public comment if it relates to the expenditure of appropriated funds, and has either a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the agency issuing the policy, regulation, procedure, or form, or has a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. This final rule is not required to be published for public comment, because DoD is not issuing a new regulation; rather, this rule is merely removing an obsolete clause from the DFARS.

IV. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review; and E.O. 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, 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. The Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has determined that this is not a significant regulatory action as defined under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866 and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b). This rule is not a major rule as defined at 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

V. Executive Order 13771

This rule is not subject to E.O. 13771, because this rule is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866.

VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule under 41 U.S.C. 1707(a)(1) (see section III. of this preamble), the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are not applicable. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required, and none has been prepared.

VII. Paperwork Reduction Act

The 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).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 204 and 252

  • Government procurement
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Jennifer Lee Hawes,

Regulatory Control Officer, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

End Signature

Therefore, 48 CFR parts 204 and 252 are amended as follows:

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1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 204 and 252 continues to read as follows:

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Start Printed Page 12139 Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

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PART 204—ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

[Amended]
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2. Amend section 204.404-70 by removing paragraph (c).

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PART 252—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

[Removed and Reserved]
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3. Remove and reserve section 252.204-7005.

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[FR Doc. 2019-06253 Filed 3-29-19; 8:45 am]

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