[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 246 (Thursday, December 22, 2016)]

[Rules and Regulations]

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[FR Doc No: 2016-30598]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

48 CFR Parts 225 and 252

[Docket DARS-2016-0048]

RIN 0750-AJ18

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: New Qualifying Country--Estonia (DFARS Case 2017-D001)

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 add Estonia as a qualifying country.

DATES: Effective December 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lorena Malcolm, telephone 571-372-6176.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

DoD is amending the DFARS to add Estonia as a qualifying country. On September 23, 2016, the Secretary of Defense signed a reciprocal defense procurement agreement with Estonia. The agreement removes discriminatory barriers to procurements of supplies and services produced by industrial enterprises of the other country to the extent mutually beneficial and consistent with national laws, regulations, policies, and international obligations. This agreement does not cover construction or construction material. Estonia is already a designated country under the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement.

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 updates the list of qualifying countries in the DFARS by adding the newly qualifying country of Estonia. The definition of ``qualifying country'' is updated in each of the following clauses; however, this revision does not impact the clause prescriptions for use, or applicability at or below the simplified acquisition threshold, or applicability to commercial items. The clauses are: DFARS 252.225-7001, Buy American and Balance of Payments Program; DFARS 252.225-7002, Qualifying Country Sources as Subcontractors; DFARS 252.225-7012, Preference for Certain Domestic Commodities; DFARS 252.225-7017, Photovoltaic Devices; DFARS 252.225-7021, Trade Agreements; and DFARS 252.225-7036, Buy American--Trade Agreements--Balance of Payments Program.

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 41 U.S.C. 1707 entitled ``Publication of Proposed Regulations.'' Paragraph (a)(1) of the statute 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 it does not constitute a significant DFARS revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501-1 and does not have a significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors. Estonia is added to the list of 25 other countries that have similar reciprocal defense procurement agreements with DoD. These requirements affect only the internal operating procedures of the Government.

IV. 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 not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 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.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule because this final rule does not constitute a significant DFARS revision within the meaning of FAR 1.501-1, and 41 U.S.C. 1707 does not require publication for public comment.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does apply to this rule; however, these changes to the DFARS do not impose additional information collection requirements to the paperwork burden previously approved under OMB Control Number 0704-0229, entitled ``DFARS Part 225, Foreign Acquisition and related clauses.'' This rule merely shifts the category under which items from Estonia must be listed.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 225 and 252

Government procurement.

Jennifer L. Hawes,

Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

Therefore, 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 are amended as follows:

1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 225 and 252 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

PART 225--FOREIGN ACQUISITION

225.003 [Amended]

2. Section 225.003 is amended in paragraph (10), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', by adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

225.872-1 [Amended]

3. Section 225.872-1 is amended in paragraph (a) by adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

PART 252--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

252.225-7001 [Amended]

4. Section 252.225-7001 is amended by--

a. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''; and

c. In the Alternate I clause--

i. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

252.225-7002 [Amended]

5. Section 252.225-7002 is amended by--

a. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

252.225-7012 [Amended]

6. Section 252.225-7012 is amended by--

a. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(JUL 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

252.225-7017 [Amended]

7. Section 252.225-7017 is amended by--

a. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(SEP 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

252.225-7021 [Amended]

8. Section 252.225-7021 is amended by--

a. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(SEP 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''; and

c. In the Alternate II clause--

i. In the clause heading, removing the date of ``(SEP 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

252.225-7036 [Amended]

9. Section 252.225-7036 is amended by--

a. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place;

b. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia'';

c. In the Alternate I clause--

i. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia'';

d. In the Alternate II clause--

i. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia'';

e. In the Alternate III clause--

i. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia'';

f. In the Alternate IV clause--

i. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''; and

g. In the Alternate V clause--

i. In the clause heading, removing the date ``(AUG 2016)'' and adding ``(DEC 2016)'' in its place; and

ii. In paragraph (a), the definition of ``Qualifying country'', adding, in alphabetical order, the country of ``Estonia''.

[FR Doc. 2016-30598 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-06-P

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 246 (Thursday, December 22, 2016)]

[Rules and Regulations]

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[FR Doc No: 2016-30596]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

48 CFR Part 232

[Docket DARS-2016-0009]

RIN 0750-AI90

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Contract Financing (DFARS Case 2015-D026)

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) by providing that contracting officers are not required to further justify a decision to provide customary contract financing, other than loan guarantees and advance payments identified in FAR part 32, for certain fixed-price contracts.

DATES: Effective December 22, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mark Gomersall, telephone 571-372-6099.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

DoD published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 81 FR 42607 on June 30, 2016, to revise the DFARS regarding the use of customary contract financing, other than loan guarantees and advance payments identified in FAR part 32, on fixed-price contracts with a period of performance in excess of one year that meet the dollar thresholds established in FAR 32.104(d). DoD has determined that the use of such customary contract financing provides improved cash flow as an incentive for commercial companies to do business with DoD, is in the Department's best interest, and requires no further justification of its use.

II. Discussion and Analysis

No public comments were submitted in response to the proposed rule. Therefore, there are no changes from the proposed rule made in the final rule.

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

This final rule only provides DoD policy regarding providing contract financing for certain fixed-priced contracts. The rule does not add any new provisions or clauses or impact any existing provisions or clauses.

IV. 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 not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 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.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

A final regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared consistent with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., and is summarized as follows:

The objective of the rule is to clarify that the use of certain customary contract financing does not require further justification, as it has been determined to be in DoD's best interest for fixed-price contracts with a period of performance in excess of one year that meet the dollar thresholds in FAR 32.104(d).

DoD does not expect this final 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. This rule only changes processes that are internal to the Government and does not have any impact on small entities.

There were no significant issues raised by the public in response to the initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

There is no change to reporting or recordkeeping as a result of this rule.

There are no known significant alternative approaches to the rule that would meet the requirements.

VI. 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).

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 232

Government procurement.

Jennifer L. Hawes,

Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.

Therefore, 48 CFR part 232 is amended as follows:

PART 232--CONTRACT FINANCING

1. The authority citation for part 232 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 41 U.S.C. 1303 and 48 CFR chapter 1.

2. Add section 232.104 to subpart 232.1 to read as follows:

232.104 Providing contract financing.

For fixed-price contracts with a period of performance in excess of a year that meet the dollar thresholds established in FAR 32.104(d), and for solicitations expected to result in such contracts, in lieu of the requirement at FAR 32.104(d)(1)(ii) for the contractor to demonstrate actual financial need or the unavailability of private financing, DoD has determined that--

(1) The use of customary contract financing (see FAR 32.113), other than loan guarantees and advance payments, is in DoD's best interest; and

(2) Further justification of its use in individual acquisitions is unnecessary.

[FR Doc. 2016-30596 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 5001-06-P