Procurement of Commodities for Foreign Donation, 17767-17768 [E6-5089]

Download as PDF 17767 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 71, No. 67 Friday, April 7, 2006 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. 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; supplemental. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This proposed rule proposes additional changes related to a proposed rule published by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) on December 16, 2005, entitled ‘‘Procurement of Commodities for Foreign Donation,’’ to specifically recognize CCC’s obligations under the cargo preference legislation of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 and to clarify the ‘‘extenuating circumstances’’ that may preclude awards on the basis of lowest-landed cost. CCC is also reopening and extending the comment period on the proposed rule to accord interested persons an opportunity to comment thereon. DATES: Comments on this proposed rule and the proposed rule published December 16, 2005 (70 FR 74717– 74721) must be received on or before May 8, 2006 in order to be assured consideration. Comments may be 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 20250–0551. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to the above address. • Federal Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the wwhite on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL ADDRESSES: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:10 Apr 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 online instructions for submitting comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Chavez, phone: (202) 690–0194; E-Mail: Richard.Chavez@USDA.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background CCC procures agricultural commodities 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. On December 16, 2005, CCC published a proposed rule proposing to change the bid evaluation process used in connection with the purchase of commodities for these programs. See 70 FR 74717–74721. Generally, as discussed in the preamble to that proposed rule, CCC proposed a one-step bid evaluation process for these procurements that would analyze actual freight offers together with commodity offers to arrive at an overall lowestlanded cost. The comment period for the proposed rule ended March 9, 2006. See 71 FR 3442. In reviewing the proposed rule after interagency discussions, CCC believes it would be helpful to clarify two points regarding the proposed procurement process. First, CCC should state that it will administer any new procurement system in a manner consistent with its obligations under the cargo preference legislation of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936. Secondly, CCC should clarify the ‘‘extenuating circumstances’’ that may preclude awards on the basis of lowestlanded cost. CCC will, of course, comply with cargo preference requirements. The existing regulations at 7 CFR 1496.5(a)(1), which were unchanged by the proposed rule, specify that lowestlanded cost will be calculated on the basis of U.S. flag rates and service for that portion of the commodities being purchased that CCC determines is necessary and practicable to meet cargo preference requirements * * *. It is deemed advisable to more closely relate this point to the bid award. Therefore, PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 CCC is revising proposed § 1496.7(b) to include specific acknowledgments of cargo preference requirements in regard to awarding bids. The proposed rule also included an exception to the lowest-landed cost principle when ‘‘extenuating circumstance’’ justified using vessel services other than single voyage contracts or f.o.b. and f.a.s. vessel delivery terms. In such cases there would be no separate vessel offers to match with commodity offers. Under the earlier proposed rule, examples of such 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.’’ It was CCC’s intent that such extenuating circumstances would always be of the nature of the examples cited and CCC is revising § 1496.7(b) of the proposed rule to clarify this point. In order to obtain full public input on this proposed rule, CCC encourages respondents to provide information and data on the economic effects of the proposed adoption of a one-step procurement system on their business operations. CCC would welcome comments on these effects from all participants in international food aid transactions such as ocean carriers, commodity suppliers, ports, railroads, and private relief agencies. These comments should include data appropriate for economic analysis. CCC will continue to be engaged in providing outreach and assistance efforts in association with transition to a one-step procurement process. In this regard, we are interested in learning what types of information would be of interest to the public to help in understanding the new system, as well as a means for providing that information 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 E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1 17768 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 67 / Friday, April 7, 2006 / Proposed Rules (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. would call for bids to be submitted through a web-based entry system. 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 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. 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. Executive Order 12372 List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1496 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). Agricultural commodities, Exports, Foreign aid. Accordingly, CCC proposes to amend 7 CFR 1496.7 as set forth in the proposed rule published December 16, 2005 (70 FR 74717–74721) as follows: Executive Order 12988 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 This supplemental proposed rule does not affect the information collection described in the December 16, 2005 proposed rule. The proposed rule invited public comment on the information collection and the comments have been summarized and included in the request for OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. wwhite on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSAL 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:10 Apr 06, 2006 Jkt 208001 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 follows: 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. In § 1496.7, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows: § 1496.7 Final contract determinations. * * * * * (b) Combination of bids. CCC will determine which combination of commodity bids and bids for ocean freight rates 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 and would be transported in compliance with cargo preference requirements. The Contracting Officer may determine that extenuating circumstances preclude awards on the basis of lowest-landed cost, or efficiency and cost-savings justify the use of types of ocean service that would not involve an analysis of freight bids for each of CCC’s commodity purchases; however, in all such cases, commodities would be transported in compliance with cargo preference requirements. Examples of extenuating circumstances are events such as internal strife at the foreign PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 (CIF), 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. * * * * * Signed at Washington, DC, on March 31, 2006. Thomas B. Hofeller, Acting Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. E6–5089 Filed 4–6–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–05–P DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 62 RIN: 1400–AC15 [Public Notice 5356] Rule Title: Exchange Visitor Program— Training and Internship Programs Department of State. Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Department is proposing to revise its training program regulations. These revisions will, among other things, eliminate the distinction between ‘‘non-specialty occupations’’ and ‘‘specialty occupations’’. Also, a new 12-month ‘‘intern’’ program is proposed to permit recent foreign graduates of degree-granting postsecondary accredited educational institutions to come to the United States to pursue work-based learning experiences in the fields in which they received their degrees. A requirement that sponsors complete an individualized Form DS–7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan for each trainee and intern prior to issuing a Form DS–2019 to the trainee or intern is also proposed. The Department will publish a Notice regarding the design of the proposed Form DS–7002, soliciting public comment regarding all recordkeeping, reporting, and data collection units. Sponsors should note that Forms DS–7002 contain a provision prohibiting the making of materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or misrepresentations in connection E:\FR\FM\07APP1.SGM 07APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 67 (Friday, April 7, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17767-17768]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-5089]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 67 / Friday, April 7, 2006 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 17767]]



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; supplemental.

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

SUMMARY: This proposed rule proposes additional changes related to a 
proposed rule published by the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) on 
December 16, 2005, entitled ``Procurement of Commodities for Foreign 
Donation,'' to specifically recognize CCC's obligations under the cargo 
preference legislation of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 and to clarify 
the ``extenuating circumstances'' that may preclude awards on the basis 
of lowest-landed cost. CCC is also re-opening and extending the comment 
period on the proposed rule to accord interested persons an opportunity 
to comment thereon.

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule and the proposed rule published 
December 16, 2005 (70 FR 74717-74721) must be received on or before May 
8, 2006 in order to be assured consideration.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be 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 20250-0551.
     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.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    CCC procures agricultural commodities 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. On 
December 16, 2005, CCC published a proposed rule proposing to change 
the bid evaluation process used in connection with the purchase of 
commodities for these programs. See 70 FR 74717-74721. Generally, as 
discussed in the preamble to that proposed rule, CCC proposed a one-
step bid evaluation process for these procurements that would analyze 
actual freight offers together with commodity offers to arrive at an 
overall lowest-landed cost. The comment period for the proposed rule 
ended March 9, 2006. See 71 FR 3442.
    In reviewing the proposed rule after interagency discussions, CCC 
believes it would be helpful to clarify two points regarding the 
proposed procurement process. First, CCC should state that it will 
administer any new procurement system in a manner consistent with its 
obligations under the cargo preference legislation of the Merchant 
Marine Act, 1936. Secondly, CCC should clarify the ``extenuating 
circumstances'' that may preclude awards on the basis of lowest-landed 
cost.
    CCC will, of course, comply with cargo preference requirements. The 
existing regulations at 7 CFR 1496.5(a)(1), which were unchanged by the 
proposed rule, specify that lowest-landed cost will be calculated on 
the basis of U.S. flag rates and service for that portion of the 
commodities being purchased that CCC determines is necessary and 
practicable to meet cargo preference requirements * * *. It is deemed 
advisable to more closely relate this point to the bid award. 
Therefore, CCC is revising proposed Sec.  1496.7(b) to include specific 
acknowledgments of cargo preference requirements in regard to awarding 
bids.
    The proposed rule also included an exception to the lowest-landed 
cost principle when ``extenuating circumstance'' justified using vessel 
services other than single voyage contracts or f.o.b. and f.a.s. vessel 
delivery terms. In such cases there would be no separate vessel offers 
to match with commodity offers. Under the earlier proposed rule, 
examples of such 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.'' It was CCC's intent that such extenuating circumstances 
would always be of the nature of the examples cited and CCC is revising 
Sec.  1496.7(b) of the proposed rule to clarify this point.
    In order to obtain full public input on this proposed rule, CCC 
encourages respondents to provide information and data on the economic 
effects of the proposed adoption of a one-step procurement system on 
their business operations. CCC would welcome comments on these effects 
from all participants in international food aid transactions such as 
ocean carriers, commodity suppliers, ports, railroads, and private 
relief agencies. These comments should include data appropriate for 
economic analysis.
    CCC will continue to be engaged in providing outreach and 
assistance efforts in association with transition to a one-step 
procurement process. In this regard, we are interested in learning what 
types of information would be of interest to the public to help in 
understanding the new system, as well as a means for providing that 
information

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

[[Page 17768]]

(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

    This supplemental proposed rule does not affect the information 
collection described in the December 16, 2005 proposed rule. The 
proposed rule invited public comment on the information collection and 
the comments have been summarized and included in the request for OMB 
approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

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.
    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 1496.7 as set forth in the 
proposed rule published December 16, 2005 (70 FR 74717-74721) 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 
follows:

    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. In Sec.  1496.7, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  1496.7  Final contract determinations.

* * * * *
    (b) Combination of bids. CCC will determine which combination of 
commodity bids and bids for ocean freight rates 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 and would be transported in 
compliance with cargo preference requirements. The Contracting Officer 
may determine that extenuating circumstances preclude awards on the 
basis of lowest-landed cost, or efficiency and cost-savings justify the 
use of types of ocean service that would not involve an analysis of 
freight bids for each of CCC's commodity purchases; however, in all 
such cases, commodities would be transported in compliance with cargo 
preference requirements. Examples of extenuating circumstances are 
events such as 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 (CIF), 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.
* * * * *

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 31, 2006.
Thomas B. Hofeller,
Acting Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. E6-5089 Filed 4-6-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-05-P