Procurement of Commodities for Foreign Donation, 74717-74721 [E5-7460]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules knowledge, but, unless specifically authorized to do so by the General Counsel, the employee shall not: (1) Disclose confidential or privileged information; or (2) For a current MSPB employee, testify as an expert or opinion witness with regard to any matter arising out of the employee’s official duties or the functions of the MSPB unless testimony is being given on behalf of the United States (see also 5 CFR 2635.805). (d) The scheduling of an employee’s testimony, including the amount of time that the employee will be made available for testimony, will be subject to the MSPB’s approval. § 1216.208 Restrictions that apply to released records. (a) The General Counsel may impose conditions or restrictions on the release of official records and information, including the requirement that parties to the proceeding obtain a protective order or execute a confidentiality agreement to limit access and any further disclosure. The terms of the protective order or of a confidentiality agreement must be acceptable to the General Counsel. In cases where protective orders or confidentiality agreements have already been executed, the MSPB may condition the release of official records and information on an amendment to the existing protective order or confidentiality agreement. (b) If the General Counsel so determines, original MSPB records may be presented for examination in response to a request, but they may not be presented as evidence or otherwise used in a manner by which they could lose their identity as official MSPB records, nor may they be marked or altered. In lieu of the original records, certified copies may be presented for evidentiary purposes. § 1216.209 Procedure when a decision is not made prior to the time a response is required. If a response to a demand or request is required before the General Counsel can make the determination referred to in § 1216.206, the General Counsel, when necessary, will provide the court or other competent authority with a copy of this part, inform the court or other competent authority that the request is being reviewed, provide an estimate as to when a decision will be made, and seek a stay of the demand or request pending a final determination. § 1216.210 Procedure in the event of an adverse ruling. If the court or other competent authority fails to stay a demand or request, the employee upon whom the VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 demand or request is made, unless otherwise advised by the General Counsel, will appear, if necessary, at the stated time and place, produce a copy of this part, state that the employee has been advised by counsel not to provide the requested testimony or produce documents, and respectfully decline to comply with the demand or request, citing United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951). Subpart C—Schedule of Fees § 1216.301 Fees. (a) Generally. The General Counsel may condition the production of records or appearance for testimony upon advance payment of a reasonable estimate of the costs to the MSPB. (b) Fees for records. Fees for producing records will include fees for searching, reviewing, and duplicating records, costs of attorney time spent in reviewing the request, and expenses generated by materials and equipment used to search for, produce, and copy the responsive information. Costs for employee time will be calculated on the basis of the hourly pay of the employee (including all pay, allowances, and benefits). Fees for duplication will be the same as those charged by the MSPB in its Freedom of Information Act regulations at 5 CFR Part 1204. (c) Witness fees. Fees for attendance by a witness will include fees, expenses, and allowances prescribed by the court’s rules. If no such fees are prescribed, witness fees will be determined based upon the rule of the Federal district court closest to the location where the witness will appear and on 28 U.S.C. 1821, as applicable. Such fees will include cost of time spent by the witness to prepare for testimony, in travel and for attendance in the legal proceeding, plus travel costs. (d) Payment of fees. A requester must pay witness fees for current MSPB employees and any record certification fees by submitting to the Clerk of the Board a check or money order for the appropriate amount made payable to the Treasury of the United States. In the case of testimony of former MSPB employees, the requester must pay applicable fees directly to the former MSPB employee in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1821 or other applicable statutes. (e) Waiver or reduction of fees. The General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, may, upon a showing of reasonable cause, waive or reduce any fees in connection with the testimony, production, or certification of records. (f) De minimis fees. Fees will not be assessed if the total charge would be $10.00 or less. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74717 Subpart D—Penalties § 1216.401 Penalties. (a) An employee who discloses official records or information or gives testimony relating to official information, except as expressly authorized by the MSPB, or as ordered by a Federal court after the MSPB has had the opportunity to be heard, may face the penalties provided in 18 U.S.C. 641 and other applicable laws. Additionally, former MSPB employees are subject to the restrictions and penalties of 18 U.S.C. 207 and 216. (b) A current MSPB employee who testifies or produces official records and information in violation of this part shall be subject to disciplinary action. Dated: December 12, 2005. Bentley M. Roberts, Jr., Clerk of the Board. [FR Doc. 05–24117 Filed 12–15–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7400–01–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation 7 CFR Part 1496 RIN 0560–AH39 Procurement of Commodities for Foreign Donation Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This proposed rule would adopt new procedures to be used by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) in the evaluation of bids in connection with the procurement of commodities for donation overseas. In general, CCC proposes to amend the existing regulations to provide for the simultaneous review of commodity and ocean freight offers when evaluating lowest-landed cost options in connection with the procurement of commodities. This proposed rule would enhance bidding opportunities for potential vendors while allowing CCC to more efficiently acquire commodities. DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before January 17, 2006 in order to be assured consideration. Comments on the information collections in this proposed rule must be received by February 14, 2006 in order to be assured consideration. ADDRESSES: CCC invites interested persons to submit comments on this proposed rule and on the collection of information. Comments may be E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74718 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules submitted by any of the following methods: • E-Mail: Send comments to Richard.Chavez@USDA.gov. • Fax: Submit comments by facsimile transmission to: (202) 690–2221. • Mail: Send comments to: Director, Commodity Procurement Policy & Analysis Division, Farm Service Agency, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rm. 5755–S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250–0512. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to the above address. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Comments on the information collection requirements of this rule must also be sent to the addresses listed in the Paperwork Reduction Act section of this Notice. Comments may be inspected in the Office of the Director, Commodity Procurement Policy & Analysis Division, Rm. 5755–S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Chavez, phone: (202) 690–0194; E-Mail: Richard.Chavez@USDA.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Kansas City Commodity Office (KCCO), within the Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, procures agricultural commodities on behalf of CCC for donation overseas under various food aid authorities. These authorities include Title II of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Pub. L. 480), which is administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Food for Progress and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Programs, which are administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service within USDA. Currently, KCCO follows a twostep ocean freight bid evaluation process in connection with the purchase of commodities for these programs. First, KCCO issues a public invitation soliciting bids for the sale of commodities and requests that ocean carriers provide indications of available freight rates to KCCO. These ‘‘indications’’ of rates are not offers to KCCO. In fact, KCCO does not contract for ocean transportation for the donated commodities. Ocean transportation contracting is done by the Cooperating Sponsors (grantee organizations or VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 foreign governments receiving the commodities) or by USAID in the case of some Title II, P.L. 480 shipments. At this point, KCCO evaluates commodity bids together with the freight rate indications to identify the combination which would most likely result in the lowest-landed cost, i.e., the lowest combined cost of commodities and freight to destination. CCC will purchase the commodities to be donated overseas on that basis. Lowest-landed cost is calculated on the basis of U.S.flag rates for that quantity of the commodities being purchased that is determined necessary and practical to meet cargo preference requirements, i.e., the tonnage required to be shipped on U.S.-flag vessels. Although KCCO does not contract for freight, the freight costs are borne by the U.S. government from the same accounts as the commodity costs. Therefore, purchasing on the basis of lowest-landed cost will reduce outlays and maximize the use of funds. KCCO’s commodity purchase determines the point at which the commodity is delivered to the carriers. However, as stated above, the freight rates used for this lowest-landed cost evaluation were not firm, fixed offers. Therefore, a second step is currently necessary that involves the Cooperating Sponsors or USAID issuing invitations for firm freight offers. KCCO will notify the Cooperating Sponsors or USAID of the location of the commodity as determined in its commodity bid evaluation and the Cooperating Sponsors or USAID will issue ocean freight invitations that will lead to actual freight bookings by the Cooperating Sponsors or USAID on firm, fixed ocean rates. This two-step process has been in place for many years and was designed at the time that processed commodities were shipped at ocean carrier tariff rates that could be readily identified. Now, as rates are ‘‘submitted rates’’ and not tied to tariffs the process is exceedingly cumbersome and time-consuming, typically requiring 80 man hours each month to analyze the first-step indications. Additionally, the process does not guarantee that commodities will be actually purchased and shipped on the basis of lowest-landed cost. One reason for this is that the Maritime Administration, within the Department of Transportation, prioritizes U.S.-flag ocean service for purposes of cargo preference and assigns a higher priority to service that uses only U.S.-flag vessels to the final discharge point. The current two-step process often results in commodities being purchased at locations based upon indications of service available from U.S.-flag carriers PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 that have a lower priority. These port locations may not be cost-effective for the higher priority vessels, which can then ‘‘trump,’’ or displace, the rate of the lower priority vessels and secure the cargo at a substantially higher rate. CCC proposes to add clarity to the commodity bid evaluation process by eliminating the two-step process. A major constraint to revising this twostep process has been that computer resources available to KCCO have been unable to analyze the large number of variables that comprise modern government commodity procurements and the complexities of cargo preference compliance. These include the many contract priorities that are mandated by law as well as the shear volume of possible commodity and freight cost variables that result from a national bidding system. KCCO is now in the process of updating its computer bidevaluation systems that would be able to accommodate a more unified one-step bid evaluation. The procurement for commodities using firm, fixed ocean rates to determine lowest-landed cost would be the most efficient method of procurement. Under such a system, the cargo preference requirements would be determined initially and not subject to a change of carriers. This should reduce the ocean freight costs considerably because the tonnage would be consolidated by the carriers’ bids and by allowing lowest-landed cost and cargo preference requirements to determine the U.S. delivery points. The delivery time from call forward issuance to delivery abroad could be reduced because the current freight evaluation process would be streamlined. The new procedures would apply to processed and bulk commodities and cover the assistance programs identified above. Under the proposed system, KCCO would issue invitations for commodity bids and Cooperating Sponsors or USAID would issue separate invitations for freight offers at approximately the same time. Freight invitations may call for bids to be submitted to the donee organizations or USAID via an Internet-based bid entry system maintained by CCC approximately 3 days prior to the time for receipt of commodity bids. Such a process would speed data input and evaluation as compared to the transmittal of written offers. Offers of commodities and freight would be invited on a ‘‘bid-point’’ basis, i.e., a point where the transfer of care and custody of the commodity from the vendor to the ocean carrier takes place. This point of transfer may include one or more terminals included under the specific bid point designation. CCC E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules believes this specificity is desirable because a more general offer that designates a port area can have additional transfer costs once a specific terminal is named. CCC should be able to identify these extra costs at the time the bids are evaluated as it may impact on true lowest-landed cost calculations. The submitted freight offers will be reviewed by the donee organization, AID, and/or USDA prior to bid evaluation in order to determine the availability of service for commodities and destinations. Furthermore, this proposed bid evaluation process will be more efficient because ocean carriers are expected to offer quantity increments that are the most economical for them. After commodity offers are received, KCCO would evaluate the offers on the basis of lowest-landed cost by a comparison with offered freight rates. KCCO would award the commodity bid on that basis and notify the Cooperating Sponsor of the bid accepted. The Cooperating Sponsor would be required to book freight at the rate KCCO used for the lowest-landed cost determination, or a lower rate, except in circumstances where, in the opinion of the Contracting Officer and the applicable program agency’s representative, extenuating circumstances (such as internal strife at the foreign destination or urgent humanitarian conditions threatening the lives of persons at the foreign destination) preclude such awards, or efficiencies and cost-savings lead to the use of different types of ocean services such as multi-trip voyage charters, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ), delivery Cost and Freight (C & F), delivery Cost Insurance and Freight (C I F), and indexed ocean freight costs. Executive Order 12866 This proposed rule is issued in conformance with Executive Order 12866. This rule has been determined to be not significant and, therefore, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. Regulatory Flexibility Act It has been determined that the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not applicable to this rule because CCC is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other provision of law to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the subject matter of this rule. Environmental Evaluation The environmental impacts of this rule have been considered consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., the regulations of the Council on VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and the FSA regulations for compliance with NEPA, 7 CFR part 799. FSA concluded that the rule requires no further environmental review because it is categorically excluded. No extraordinary circumstances or other unforeseeable factors exist which would require preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Executive Order 12988 This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12988. The provisions of this rule preempt State laws to the extent such laws are inconsistent with the provisions of this proposed rule. Executive Order 12372 This program is not subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which require intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. See the notice related to 7 CFR part 3014, subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115 (June 24, 1983). Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 This rule contains no Federal mandates under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) for State, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA. Paperwork Reduction Act Title: Procurement of Processed Agricultural Commodities for Donation. OMB Control Number: 0560–NEW. Type of Request: New Information Collection Package. Abstract: The information collected under OMB Control Number 0560–NEW is needed in the evaluation of bids in connection with the procurement of commodities for donation overseas. This information is submitted by steamship lines, or their respective agents, and collected by the Kansas City Commodity Office (KCCO). This reporting requirement imposed on the public by the regulations at 7 CFR part 1496 is necessary to effectively administer the Title II, Pub. L. 480 program. This proposed rule will reduce information requirements which are imposed on the public by eliminating the need for steamship lines, or their respective agents, to provide indications of available freight rates to KCCO before submitting a final fixed ocean freight offer. The procurement of commodities using firm fixed ocean rates to determine the lowest-landed cost would PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74719 be the most efficient method of procurement. The revisions to 7 CFR part 1496 proposed in this rule will adopt new procedures to be used by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) in the evaluation of bids in connection with the procurement of commodities for donation overseas. Estimate of Burden: Respondents: Steamship Lines an/or their agents. Estimated Number of Respondents: Approximately 15. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: Approximately 8. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 15 hours. Topics for comments include but are limited to the following: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimated burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments regarding these issues should be sent to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 and to the Director, Commodity and Procurement Policy & Analysis Division, Farm Service Agency, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rm. 5755–S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250–0512. Comments regarding paperwork burden will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. Government Paperwork Elimination Act FSA is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, which requires Federal Government agencies to provide the public the option of submitting information or transacting business electronically to the maximum extent possible. The KCCO is now in the process of updating its computer bidevaluation systems that would accommodate a more unified one step bid evaluation. Freight invitations would call for bids to be submitted through a web-based entry system. E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 74720 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules Most of the information collections required by this rule are fully implemented for the public to conduct business with FSA electronically. However, a few may be completed and saved on a computer, but must be printed, signed and submitted to FSA in paper form. § 1496.4 Executive Order 12612 This rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The provisions contained in this rule will not have a substantial direct effect on States or their political subdivisions, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. From time to time, CCC will issue invitations to purchase or process agricultural products for utilization in the foreign assistance programs enumerated in § 1496.1 of this part. * * * 6. In § 1496.5, paragraph (b) is revised, paragraph (c) is removed and reserved, and paragraph (d) is revised as follows: List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1496 Agricultural commodities, Exports, Foreign aid. Accordingly, CCC proposes to amend 7 CFR part 1496 as follows: § 1496.5 PART 1496—PROCUREMENT OF PROCESSED AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES FOR DONATION UNDER TITLE II, PUB. L. 480 1. The authority citation for part 1496 is revised to read as set forth above: Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1431(b); 1721–1726a; 1731–1736g–2; 1736o; 1736o–1; 15 U.S.C. 714b and 714c; 46 U.S.C. App. 1241(b), and 1241(f). 2. The heading for part 1496 is revised to read as set forth above: PART 1496—PROCUREMENT OF COMMODITIES FOR FOREIGN DONATION 3. Section 1496.1 is revised to read as follows: § 1496.1 General statement. This subpart sets forth the policies, procedures and requirements governing the procurement of agricultural commodities by CCC to be donated for assistance overseas under title II of the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Pub. L. 480); the Food for Progress Act of 1985; the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program; and any other program under which CCC is authorized to provide agriculture commodities for assistance overseas. 4. In § 1496.2, paragraph (a) is amended by removing the last sentence and paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows: § 1496.2 Administration. * * * * * (b) Purchases are made to fulfill commodity requests received from AID VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:06 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 in the administration of Public Law 480 and from a grantee organization receiving commodities under the other authorities set forth in § 1496.1 of this part. 5. In § 1496.4, the first sentence is revised to read as follows: Issuance of invitations. Consideration of bids. * * * * * (b) Availability of ocean service. (1) In determining lowest-landed cost as specified in paragraph (a) of this section, CCC will use vessel rates offered in response to invitations issued by AID or grantee organizations receiving commodities under the authorities set forth in section 1496.1 of this part. If CCC or AID, in the case of title II, Public Law 480, determines that it is not practicable to evaluate lowestlanded cost on the basis of a competitive ocean freight bid process, CCC may use other methods of soliciting freight rates that CCC or AID may approve for the foreign assistance programs that they respectively administer. (2) In order to be considered in lowest-landed cost commodity bid evaluations, ocean freight rates must be submitted to grantee organizations or AID in response to an invitation for bids issued by grantee organizations or AID. All such freight invitations for bids must: (i) Specify a closing time for the receipt of offers and state that late offers will not be considered; (ii) Provide that offers are required to have a canceling date no later than the last contract lay day specified in the invitation for bids; (iii) Provide the same deadline for receipt of offers from both U.S. flag vessel and non-U.S. flag vessels; and (iv) Must be received and opened prior to receipt of offers for the sale of commodities to CCC. The extent to which offered rates may be made public will depend upon regulations or guidelines applicable to the specific foreign assistance program involved. (3) CCC may require donee organizations or USAID to specify in their freight invitations that the ocean carriers submit bids electronically through a web based system maintained PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 by CCC. In the event of any discrepancy between information furnished to CCC electronically and the written offers submitted to grantee organizations or AID, the offers submitted to the grantee organization or AID will prevail. Copies of all written freight offers received in response to invitations for bids must be promptly furnished to CCC and CCC may require the grantee organization or it shipping agent to submit a written certification that all non-electronic offers received were transmitted to CCC. (c) [Reserved] (d) Port performance. (1) CCC may contact any port prior to bid evaluation to determine the port’s cargo handling capabilities including the adequacy of the port to receive, accumulate, handle, store, and protect the cargo. Factors which will be considered in this determination will include, but not be limited to, the adequacy of building structures, proper ventilation, freedom from insects and rodents, cleanliness, and overall good housekeeping and warehousing practices. CCC will require that capacity information be submitted electronically by the port and or the terminal prior to bid evaluation. (2) If CCC determines that: A port is congested; facilities are overloaded; a vessel would not be able to dock and load cargo without delay; labor disputes or lack of labor may prohibit the loading of the cargo onboard a vessel in a timely manner; or other similar situation exists that may adversely affect the ability of CCC to have the commodity delivered in a timely manner, CCC may consider the use of another coastal range or port. In considering another combination of commodity offers and vessel rate offers, CCC will adhere as closely as possible to the principal of lowest-landed cost. * * * * * 7. Section 1496.7 is revised to read as follows: § 1496.7 Final contract determinations. (a) Commodity awards. (1) Invitations for the procurement of commodities and the evaluation of bids submitted in response to such invitations shall be performed as provided in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and Department of Agriculture’s procurement regulations set forth in Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations (the AGAR). (2) If more than one bid for the sale of commodities is received and more than one delivery point has been designated in such bids, in order to achieve a combination of a freight rate and commodity award that produces the lowest-landed cost for the delivery of the commodity to the foreign E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 241 / Friday, December 16, 2005 / Proposed Rules destination, CCC may evaluate bids submitted for the sale of commodities on a delivery point by delivery point basis. In such cases, all bids submitted with respect to a specific delivery point will be evaluated under the provisions of the FAR, AGAR, and the solicitation, and CCC will determine the lowest bid for each delivery point. (b) Combination of bids. CCC will determine which combination of commodity bids and bids for ocean freight rate result in the lowest-landed cost of delivery of the commodity to the foreign destination. CCC will award the contract for the purchase of the commodity that results in the lowestlanded cost unless the Contracting Officer determines that extenuating circumstances preclude such awards, or efficiency and cost-savings justify use of a different type of ocean service. Examples of extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, internal strife at the foreign destination or urgent humanitarian conditions threatening the lives of persons at the foreign destination. Other types of services may include, but are not limited to, multi-trip voyage charters, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ), delivery Cost and Freight (C & F), delivery Cost Insurance and Freight (C I F), and indexed ocean freight costs. Before contracts are awarded for other than a lowest-landed cost, the Contracting Officer shall consult with the applicable program agencies, and set forth, in writing, the reasons the contracts should be awarded on other than a lowest-landed cost. (c) Notification of awards. (1) The party submitting the accepted commodity procurement bid will be notified of the acceptance of the bid by CCC. (2) AID or the grantee organization, or its shipping agent, will be notified of the vessel freight rate used in determining the commodity contract award. The grantee organization or AID will be responsible for finalizing the charter or booking contract with the vessel representing the freight rate so used. Signed at Washington, DC, on December 6, 2005. Teresa C. Lasseter, Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. E5–7460 Filed 12–15–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:33 Dec 15, 2005 Jkt 208001 COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED 41 CFR Parts 51–2, 51–3, and 51–4 Nonprofit Agency Governance and Executive Compensation Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Advanced notice of proposed rulemaking: Request for comments and notice of public hearings. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (the Committee) is considering revising its regulations regarding: The qualifications required of both central nonprofit agencies and nonprofit agencies to participate in the JavitsWagner-O’Day (JWOD) Program, and the guidelines under which executive compensation will be considered as either influencing or not influencing a fair market price. The Committee wants to ensure that Federal customers continue to receive high value products and services from JWOD affiliated central nonprofit agencies and nonprofit agencies and believes that these two areas merit further review at this time. Prior to initiating any formal rulemaking, the Committee is seeking further information and suggestions on: alternative approaches to determine that central nonprofit agencies and nonprofit agencies are initially qualified to participate in the JWOD Program and then qualified to continue to participate in the Program, and alternative approaches and mechanisms to assess that the fair market price set by the Committee and paid by Federal departments and agencies is not burdened inappropriately by excessive executive compensation costs. DATES: The Committee will hold three public hearings. Hearings will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2006, in Arlington, VA; Thursday, January 19, 2006, in Dallas, TX; and Thursday, January 26, 2006, in San Francisco, CA. Written comments from those that do not attend the hearings are also welcomed and must be received by January 31, 2006. The Committee will not consider comments pertaining to these hearings that are received after January 31, 2006. ADDRESSES: The specific locations and times where the hearings will be held are: 1. Thursday, January 12, 2006, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74721 2. Thursday, January 19, 2006 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Red River Conference Room (7th Floor, Room 752). Earl Cabell Federal Office Building, 1100 Commerce Street, Dallas, TX 75242. 3. Thursday, January 26, 2006, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., California/Nevada Room, Phillip Burton Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. The Committee office is located at Jefferson Plaza 2, Suite 10800, 1421 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202–3259. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the hearings, submitting requests to testify, or submitting written comments contact Stephanie Hillmon, Assistant General Counsel, by telephone (703) 603–7740; by facsimile at (703) 603–0030; by email at RulesComment@jwod.gov; and by mail at the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1421 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Suite 10800, Arlington, VA 22202–3259. Office hours are between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., eastern standard time, Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to its statutory authority to determine suitability and the fair market price, the Committee plans to issue regulations that ensure that only qualified central nonprofit agencies and nonprofit agencies participate in the JWOD Program and that the fair market price charged to Federal customers is both reasonable and appropriate. Public Hearings: Requests to testify must be received at the Committee office at least one week prior to the hearing date. Requests to testify should also indicate which hearing will be attended. Persons interested in providing oral testimony are encouraged, but not required, to submit written comments a week in advance of the hearings and testimony will be limited to the matters contained in this notice. The Committee staff will moderate the hearings. In the event that more people ask to testify than can be accommodated in the time allowed, the Committee will hear testimony from a cross-section of those wishing to testify, as determined by the Committee staff. Only one person from a particular organization may testify. Oral testimony shall not exceed 5 minutes. The public hearings and comment period are for the purpose of gathering information about implementing better mechanisms to ensure that only qualified central nonprofit agencies and nonprofit agencies participate in the JWOD Program and that the fair market E:\FR\FM\16DEP1.SGM 16DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 241 (Friday, December 16, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74717-74721]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-7460]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation

7 CFR Part 1496

RIN 0560-AH39


Procurement of Commodities for Foreign Donation

AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: This proposed rule would adopt new procedures to be used by 
the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) in the evaluation of bids in 
connection with the procurement of commodities for donation overseas. 
In general, CCC proposes to amend the existing regulations to provide 
for the simultaneous review of commodity and ocean freight offers when 
evaluating lowest-landed cost options in connection with the 
procurement of commodities. This proposed rule would enhance bidding 
opportunities for potential vendors while allowing CCC to more 
efficiently acquire commodities.

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before 
January 17, 2006 in order to be assured consideration. Comments on the 
information collections in this proposed rule must be received by 
February 14, 2006 in order to be assured consideration.

ADDRESSES: CCC invites interested persons to submit comments on this 
proposed rule and on the collection of information. Comments may be

[[Page 74718]]

submitted by any of the following methods:
     E-Mail: Send comments to Richard.Chavez@USDA.gov.
     Fax: Submit comments by facsimile transmission to: (202) 
690-2221.
     Mail: Send comments to: Director, Commodity Procurement 
Policy & Analysis Division, Farm Service Agency, United States 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rm. 5755-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-0512.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to the above 
address.
     Federal Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments.
    Comments on the information collection requirements of this rule 
must also be sent to the addresses listed in the Paperwork Reduction 
Act section of this Notice. Comments may be inspected in the Office of 
the Director, Commodity Procurement Policy & Analysis Division, Rm. 
5755-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. 
and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Chavez, phone: (202) 690-0194; 
E-Mail: Richard.Chavez@USDA.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Kansas City Commodity Office (KCCO), within the Farm Service 
Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, procures agricultural 
commodities on behalf of CCC for donation overseas under various food 
aid authorities. These authorities include Title II of the Agricultural 
Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Pub. L. 480), which is 
administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), 
and the Food for Progress and the McGovern-Dole International Food for 
Education and Child Nutrition Programs, which are administered by the 
Foreign Agricultural Service within USDA. Currently, KCCO follows a 
two-step ocean freight bid evaluation process in connection with the 
purchase of commodities for these programs. First, KCCO issues a public 
invitation soliciting bids for the sale of commodities and requests 
that ocean carriers provide indications of available freight rates to 
KCCO. These ``indications'' of rates are not offers to KCCO. In fact, 
KCCO does not contract for ocean transportation for the donated 
commodities. Ocean transportation contracting is done by the 
Cooperating Sponsors (grantee organizations or foreign governments 
receiving the commodities) or by USAID in the case of some Title II, 
P.L. 480 shipments.
    At this point, KCCO evaluates commodity bids together with the 
freight rate indications to identify the combination which would most 
likely result in the lowest-landed cost, i.e., the lowest combined cost 
of commodities and freight to destination. CCC will purchase the 
commodities to be donated overseas on that basis. Lowest-landed cost is 
calculated on the basis of U.S.-flag rates for that quantity of the 
commodities being purchased that is determined necessary and practical 
to meet cargo preference requirements, i.e., the tonnage required to be 
shipped on U.S.-flag vessels. Although KCCO does not contract for 
freight, the freight costs are borne by the U.S. government from the 
same accounts as the commodity costs. Therefore, purchasing on the 
basis of lowest-landed cost will reduce outlays and maximize the use of 
funds.
    KCCO's commodity purchase determines the point at which the 
commodity is delivered to the carriers. However, as stated above, the 
freight rates used for this lowest-landed cost evaluation were not 
firm, fixed offers. Therefore, a second step is currently necessary 
that involves the Cooperating Sponsors or USAID issuing invitations for 
firm freight offers. KCCO will notify the Cooperating Sponsors or USAID 
of the location of the commodity as determined in its commodity bid 
evaluation and the Cooperating Sponsors or USAID will issue ocean 
freight invitations that will lead to actual freight bookings by the 
Cooperating Sponsors or USAID on firm, fixed ocean rates.
    This two-step process has been in place for many years and was 
designed at the time that processed commodities were shipped at ocean 
carrier tariff rates that could be readily identified. Now, as rates 
are ``submitted rates'' and not tied to tariffs the process is 
exceedingly cumbersome and time-consuming, typically requiring 80 man 
hours each month to analyze the first-step indications. Additionally, 
the process does not guarantee that commodities will be actually 
purchased and shipped on the basis of lowest-landed cost. One reason 
for this is that the Maritime Administration, within the Department of 
Transportation, prioritizes U.S.-flag ocean service for purposes of 
cargo preference and assigns a higher priority to service that uses 
only U.S.-flag vessels to the final discharge point. The current two-
step process often results in commodities being purchased at locations 
based upon indications of service available from U.S.-flag carriers 
that have a lower priority. These port locations may not be cost-
effective for the higher priority vessels, which can then ``trump,'' or 
displace, the rate of the lower priority vessels and secure the cargo 
at a substantially higher rate.
    CCC proposes to add clarity to the commodity bid evaluation process 
by eliminating the two-step process. A major constraint to revising 
this two-step process has been that computer resources available to 
KCCO have been unable to analyze the large number of variables that 
comprise modern government commodity procurements and the complexities 
of cargo preference compliance. These include the many contract 
priorities that are mandated by law as well as the shear volume of 
possible commodity and freight cost variables that result from a 
national bidding system. KCCO is now in the process of updating its 
computer bid-evaluation systems that would be able to accommodate a 
more unified one-step bid evaluation. The procurement for commodities 
using firm, fixed ocean rates to determine lowest-landed cost would be 
the most efficient method of procurement. Under such a system, the 
cargo preference requirements would be determined initially and not 
subject to a change of carriers. This should reduce the ocean freight 
costs considerably because the tonnage would be consolidated by the 
carriers' bids and by allowing lowest-landed cost and cargo preference 
requirements to determine the U.S. delivery points. The delivery time 
from call forward issuance to delivery abroad could be reduced because 
the current freight evaluation process would be streamlined.
    The new procedures would apply to processed and bulk commodities 
and cover the assistance programs identified above. Under the proposed 
system, KCCO would issue invitations for commodity bids and Cooperating 
Sponsors or USAID would issue separate invitations for freight offers 
at approximately the same time. Freight invitations may call for bids 
to be submitted to the donee organizations or USAID via an Internet-
based bid entry system maintained by CCC approximately 3 days prior to 
the time for receipt of commodity bids. Such a process would speed data 
input and evaluation as compared to the transmittal of written offers. 
Offers of commodities and freight would be invited on a ``bid-point'' 
basis, i.e., a point where the transfer of care and custody of the 
commodity from the vendor to the ocean carrier takes place. This point 
of transfer may include one or more terminals included under the 
specific bid point designation. CCC

[[Page 74719]]

believes this specificity is desirable because a more general offer 
that designates a port area can have additional transfer costs once a 
specific terminal is named. CCC should be able to identify these extra 
costs at the time the bids are evaluated as it may impact on true 
lowest-landed cost calculations. The submitted freight offers will be 
reviewed by the donee organization, AID, and/or USDA prior to bid 
evaluation in order to determine the availability of service for 
commodities and destinations. Furthermore, this proposed bid evaluation 
process will be more efficient because ocean carriers are expected to 
offer quantity increments that are the most economical for them.
    After commodity offers are received, KCCO would evaluate the offers 
on the basis of lowest-landed cost by a comparison with offered freight 
rates. KCCO would award the commodity bid on that basis and notify the 
Cooperating Sponsor of the bid accepted. The Cooperating Sponsor would 
be required to book freight at the rate KCCO used for the lowest-landed 
cost determination, or a lower rate, except in circumstances where, in 
the opinion of the Contracting Officer and the applicable program 
agency's representative, extenuating circumstances (such as internal 
strife at the foreign destination or urgent humanitarian conditions 
threatening the lives of persons at the foreign destination) preclude 
such awards, or efficiencies and cost-savings lead to the use of 
different types of ocean services such as multi-trip voyage charters, 
indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ), delivery Cost and 
Freight (C & F), delivery Cost Insurance and Freight (C I F), and 
indexed ocean freight costs.

Executive Order 12866

    This proposed rule is issued in conformance with Executive Order 
12866. This rule has been determined to be not significant and, 
therefore, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    It has been determined that the Regulatory Flexibility Act is not 
applicable to this rule because CCC is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or 
any other provision of law to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking 
with respect to the subject matter of this rule.

Environmental Evaluation

    The environmental impacts of this rule have been considered 
consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., the regulations of the Council 
on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and the FSA 
regulations for compliance with NEPA, 7 CFR part 799. FSA concluded 
that the rule requires no further environmental review because it is 
categorically excluded. No extraordinary circumstances or other 
unforeseeable factors exist which would require preparation of an 
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 12988. The provisions of this rule preempt State laws to the 
extent such laws are inconsistent with the provisions of this proposed 
rule.

Executive Order 12372

    This program is not subject to the provisions of Executive Order 
12372, which require intergovernmental consultation with State and 
local officials. See the notice related to 7 CFR part 3014, subpart V, 
published at 48 FR 29115 (June 24, 1983).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule contains no Federal mandates under the regulatory 
provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(UMRA) for State, local, and tribal governments or the private sector. 
Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 
205 of the UMRA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Title: Procurement of Processed Agricultural Commodities for 
Donation.
    OMB Control Number: 0560-NEW.
    Type of Request: New Information Collection Package.
    Abstract: The information collected under OMB Control Number 0560-
NEW is needed in the evaluation of bids in connection with the 
procurement of commodities for donation overseas. This information is 
submitted by steamship lines, or their respective agents, and collected 
by the Kansas City Commodity Office (KCCO). This reporting requirement 
imposed on the public by the regulations at 7 CFR part 1496 is 
necessary to effectively administer the Title II, Pub. L. 480 program. 
This proposed rule will reduce information requirements which are 
imposed on the public by eliminating the need for steamship lines, or 
their respective agents, to provide indications of available freight 
rates to KCCO before submitting a final fixed ocean freight offer. The 
procurement of commodities using firm fixed ocean rates to determine 
the lowest-landed cost would be the most efficient method of 
procurement. The revisions to 7 CFR part 1496 proposed in this rule 
will adopt new procedures to be used by the Commodity Credit 
Corporation (CCC) in the evaluation of bids in connection with the 
procurement of commodities for donation overseas.
    Estimate of Burden:
    Respondents: Steamship Lines an/or their agents.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: Approximately 15.
    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: Approximately 8.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 15 hours.
    Topics for comments include but are limited to the following: (a) 
Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper 
performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the 
information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the 
agency's estimated burden including the validity of the methodology and 
assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity 
of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of 
the collection of information on those who are to respond, including 
through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or 
other technological collection techniques or other forms of information 
technology. Comments regarding these issues should be sent to the Desk 
Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 
Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 and to the 
Director, Commodity and Procurement Policy & Analysis Division, Farm 
Service Agency, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rm. 
5755-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0512.
    Comments regarding paperwork burden will be summarized and included 
in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter 
of public record.

Government Paperwork Elimination Act

    FSA is committed to compliance with the Government Paperwork 
Elimination Act, which requires Federal Government agencies to provide 
the public the option of submitting information or transacting business 
electronically to the maximum extent possible. The KCCO is now in the 
process of updating its computer bid-evaluation systems that would 
accommodate a more unified one step bid evaluation. Freight invitations 
would call for bids to be submitted through a web-based entry system.

[[Page 74720]]

    Most of the information collections required by this rule are fully 
implemented for the public to conduct business with FSA electronically. 
However, a few may be completed and saved on a computer, but must be 
printed, signed and submitted to FSA in paper form.

Executive Order 12612

    This rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to 
warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. The provisions 
contained in this rule will not have a substantial direct effect on 
States or their political subdivisions, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1496

    Agricultural commodities, Exports, Foreign aid.
    Accordingly, CCC proposes to amend 7 CFR part 1496 as follows:

PART 1496--PROCUREMENT OF PROCESSED AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES FOR 
DONATION UNDER TITLE II, PUB. L. 480

    1. The authority citation for part 1496 is revised to read as set 
forth above:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 1431(b); 1721-1726a; 1731-1736g-2; 1736o; 
1736o-1; 15 U.S.C. 714b and 714c; 46 U.S.C. App. 1241(b), and 
1241(f).

    2. The heading for part 1496 is revised to read as set forth above:

PART 1496--PROCUREMENT OF COMMODITIES FOR FOREIGN DONATION

    3. Section 1496.1 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1496.1  General statement.

    This subpart sets forth the policies, procedures and requirements 
governing the procurement of agricultural commodities by CCC to be 
donated for assistance overseas under title II of the Agricultural 
Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Pub. L. 480); the Food 
for Progress Act of 1985; the McGovern-Dole International Food for 
Education and Child Nutrition Program; and any other program under 
which CCC is authorized to provide agriculture commodities for 
assistance overseas.
    4. In Sec.  1496.2, paragraph (a) is amended by removing the last 
sentence and paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1496.2  Administration.

* * * * *
    (b) Purchases are made to fulfill commodity requests received from 
AID in the administration of Public Law 480 and from a grantee 
organization receiving commodities under the other authorities set 
forth in Sec.  1496.1 of this part.
    5. In Sec.  1496.4, the first sentence is revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1496.4  Issuance of invitations.

    From time to time, CCC will issue invitations to purchase or 
process agricultural products for utilization in the foreign assistance 
programs enumerated in Sec.  1496.1 of this part. * * *
    6. In Sec.  1496.5, paragraph (b) is revised, paragraph (c) is 
removed and reserved, and paragraph (d) is revised as follows:


Sec.  1496.5  Consideration of bids.

* * * * *
    (b) Availability of ocean service.
    (1) In determining lowest-landed cost as specified in paragraph (a) 
of this section, CCC will use vessel rates offered in response to 
invitations issued by AID or grantee organizations receiving 
commodities under the authorities set forth in section 1496.1 of this 
part. If CCC or AID, in the case of title II, Public Law 480, 
determines that it is not practicable to evaluate lowest-landed cost on 
the basis of a competitive ocean freight bid process, CCC may use other 
methods of soliciting freight rates that CCC or AID may approve for the 
foreign assistance programs that they respectively administer.
    (2) In order to be considered in lowest-landed cost commodity bid 
evaluations, ocean freight rates must be submitted to grantee 
organizations or AID in response to an invitation for bids issued by 
grantee organizations or AID. All such freight invitations for bids 
must:
    (i) Specify a closing time for the receipt of offers and state that 
late offers will not be considered;
    (ii) Provide that offers are required to have a canceling date no 
later than the last contract lay day specified in the invitation for 
bids;
    (iii) Provide the same deadline for receipt of offers from both 
U.S. flag vessel and non-U.S. flag vessels; and
    (iv) Must be received and opened prior to receipt of offers for the 
sale of commodities to CCC. The extent to which offered rates may be 
made public will depend upon regulations or guidelines applicable to 
the specific foreign assistance program involved.
    (3) CCC may require donee organizations or USAID to specify in 
their freight invitations that the ocean carriers submit bids 
electronically through a web based system maintained by CCC. In the 
event of any discrepancy between information furnished to CCC 
electronically and the written offers submitted to grantee 
organizations or AID, the offers submitted to the grantee organization 
or AID will prevail. Copies of all written freight offers received in 
response to invitations for bids must be promptly furnished to CCC and 
CCC may require the grantee organization or it shipping agent to submit 
a written certification that all non-electronic offers received were 
transmitted to CCC.
    (c) [Reserved]
    (d) Port performance.
    (1) CCC may contact any port prior to bid evaluation to determine 
the port's cargo handling capabilities including the adequacy of the 
port to receive, accumulate, handle, store, and protect the cargo. 
Factors which will be considered in this determination will include, 
but not be limited to, the adequacy of building structures, proper 
ventilation, freedom from insects and rodents, cleanliness, and overall 
good housekeeping and warehousing practices. CCC will require that 
capacity information be submitted electronically by the port and or the 
terminal prior to bid evaluation.
    (2) If CCC determines that: A port is congested; facilities are 
overloaded; a vessel would not be able to dock and load cargo without 
delay; labor disputes or lack of labor may prohibit the loading of the 
cargo onboard a vessel in a timely manner; or other similar situation 
exists that may adversely affect the ability of CCC to have the 
commodity delivered in a timely manner, CCC may consider the use of 
another coastal range or port. In considering another combination of 
commodity offers and vessel rate offers, CCC will adhere as closely as 
possible to the principal of lowest-landed cost.
* * * * *
    7. Section 1496.7 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1496.7  Final contract determinations.

    (a) Commodity awards. (1) Invitations for the procurement of 
commodities and the evaluation of bids submitted in response to such 
invitations shall be performed as provided in the Federal Acquisition 
Regulations (FAR) and Department of Agriculture's procurement 
regulations set forth in Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(the AGAR).
    (2) If more than one bid for the sale of commodities is received 
and more than one delivery point has been designated in such bids, in 
order to achieve a combination of a freight rate and commodity award 
that produces the lowest-landed cost for the delivery of the commodity 
to the foreign

[[Page 74721]]

destination, CCC may evaluate bids submitted for the sale of 
commodities on a delivery point by delivery point basis. In such cases, 
all bids submitted with respect to a specific delivery point will be 
evaluated under the provisions of the FAR, AGAR, and the solicitation, 
and CCC will determine the lowest bid for each delivery point.
    (b) Combination of bids. CCC will determine which combination of 
commodity bids and bids for ocean freight rate result in the lowest-
landed cost of delivery of the commodity to the foreign destination. 
CCC will award the contract for the purchase of the commodity that 
results in the lowest-landed cost unless the Contracting Officer 
determines that extenuating circumstances preclude such awards, or 
efficiency and cost-savings justify use of a different type of ocean 
service. Examples of extenuating circumstances may include, but are not 
limited to, internal strife at the foreign destination or urgent 
humanitarian conditions threatening the lives of persons at the foreign 
destination. Other types of services may include, but are not limited 
to, multi-trip voyage charters, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity 
(IDIQ), delivery Cost and Freight (C & F), delivery Cost Insurance and 
Freight (C I F), and indexed ocean freight costs. Before contracts are 
awarded for other than a lowest-landed cost, the Contracting Officer 
shall consult with the applicable program agencies, and set forth, in 
writing, the reasons the contracts should be awarded on other than a 
lowest-landed cost.
    (c) Notification of awards. (1) The party submitting the accepted 
commodity procurement bid will be notified of the acceptance of the bid 
by CCC.
    (2) AID or the grantee organization, or its shipping agent, will be 
notified of the vessel freight rate used in determining the commodity 
contract award. The grantee organization or AID will be responsible for 
finalizing the charter or booking contract with the vessel representing 
the freight rate so used.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on December 6, 2005.
Teresa C. Lasseter,
Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
 [FR Doc. E5-7460 Filed 12-15-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-05-P