Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006-024, Travel Costs, 72325-72326 [E7-24730]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2007 / Proposed Rules Comment 5: OCE requested that EPA conduct a RACT evaluation of Rule 9– 10 and re-propose approval of Rule 9– 10 once that evaluation is complete. Response 5: A RACT evaluation of Rule 9–10 is not required. For further discussion regarding RACT requirements in the BAAQMD, see Response 1. III. EPA Action Because EPA believes the submitted rule fulfills all relevant requirements, we are proposing to fully approve it as described in section 110(k)(3) of the Act. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal for the next 30 days. Unless we receive convincing new information during the comment period, we intend to publish a final approval action that will incorporate this rule into the federally enforceable SIP. All sanctions and sanction clocks, which were triggered as a result of the disapproval action on March 29, 2001 (66 FR 17078), continue to be stayed as a result of the interim final determination published on October 7, 2002 (67 FR 62388). The comments received in response to the October 7, 2002, proposed rule approval have not changed our conclusion that the submitted rule complies with the relevant CAA requirements. The sanctions and sanction clocks will be permanently terminated on the effective date of the final rule approval. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSALS IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this proposed action is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, ‘‘Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use’’ (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This proposed action merely proposes to approve State law as meeting Federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this rule proposes to approve preexisting requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:37 Dec 19, 2007 Jkt 214001 in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4). This proposed rule also does not have tribal implications because it will not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action also does not have Federalism implications because it does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This action merely proposes to approve a State rule implementing a Federal standard, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. This proposed rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 ‘‘Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks’’ (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it approves a State rule implementing a Federal standard. In reviewing SIP submissions, EPA’s role is to approve State choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. In this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority to disapprove a SIP submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a SIP submission, to use VCS in place of a SIP submission that otherwise satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. This proposed rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq. PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 72325 Dated: November 27, 2007. Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator, Region IX. [FR Doc. E7–24715 Filed 12–19–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 31 [FAR Case 2006–024; Docket 2007–0001; Sequence 12] RIN: 9000–AK86 Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006–024, Travel Costs Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCIES: SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to change the travel cost principle to ensure a consistent application of the limitation on allowable contractor airfare costs. DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the FAR Secretariat on or before February 19, 2008 to be considered in the formulation of a final rule. ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by FAR case 2006–024 by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • To search for any document, first select under ‘‘Step 1,’’ ‘‘Documents with an Open Comment Period’’ and select under ‘‘Optional Step 2,’’ ‘‘Federal Acquisition Regulation’’ as the agency of choice. Under ‘‘Optional Step 3,’’ select ‘‘Proposed Rules’’. Under ‘‘Optional Step 4,’’ from the drop down list, select ‘‘Document Title’’ and type the FAR case number ‘‘2006–024’’. Click the ‘‘Submit’’ button. Please include your name and company name (if any) inside the document. You may also search for any document by clicking onthe ‘‘Search for Documents’’ tab at the top of the screen. Select from the agency field ‘‘Federal Acquisition Regulation’’, and type ‘‘2006–024’’ in the ‘‘Document Title’’ field. Select the ‘‘Submit’’ button. E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1 72326 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2007 / Proposed Rules • Fax: 202–501–4067. • Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (VIR), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Diedra Wingate, Washington, DC 20405. Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR case 2006–024 in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Mr. Edward Chambers, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501–3221 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the FAR Secretariat at (202) 501–4755. Please cite FAR case 2006–024. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSALS A. Background The travel cost principle at FAR 31.205–46(b) currently limits allowable contractor airfare costs to ‘‘the lowest customary standard, coach, or equivalent airfare offered during normal business hours.’’ The Councils are aware that this limitation is being interpreted inconsistently, either as lowest coach fare available to the contractor or lowest coach fare available to the general public, and these inconsistent interpretations can lead to confusion regarding what costs are allowable. The Councils agreed that the current language at FAR 31.205–46(b) does not promote consistency in the application of the cost principle and that, accordingly, the cost principle requires clarification. The Councils considered three alternative approaches to revising the cost principle: 1. Do nothing, leaving FAR 31.205–46 unchanged; 2. Amend FAR 31.205–46(b) to explicitly state that allowable contractor airfare costs are limited to the lowest standard or coach fare available to the general public; or 3. Amend FAR 31.205–46(b) to explicitly state that allowable contractor airfare costs are limited to the lowest standard or coach fare available to the contractor. With regard to the first option, the Councils do not believe that the cost principle can be left unchanged based on the different interpretations of which the Councils have become aware. The Councils also believe that establishing the lowest coach fare available to the general public as the benchmark for cost allowability is not a feasible option in VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:37 Dec 19, 2007 Jkt 214001 practice. Under such a standard, contractors could potentially be required to continuously monitor a fluctuating fare market to determine what was the lowest fare available on a given day. Likewise, Government auditors could not reasonably recreate the competitive fare market for each instance of a contractor’s travel in determining compliance with the cost principle. Accordingly, the Councils believe that the reasonable standard to apply in determining the allowability of airfares is the lowest coach fare available to the contractor. It is not prudent to allow the costs of the lowest coach fares available to the general public when contractors have obtained lower fares as a result of direct negotiation. Furthermore, the Councils believe that the cost principle should be clarified to omit the term ‘‘standard’’ from the description of the classes of allowable airfares since that term does not describe actual classes of airline service. The Councils believe that ‘‘customary coach, or equivalent’’ more accurately describes the classes of service for which the cost will be considered allowable. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Councils do not expect this proposed 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., because most contracts awarded to small entities use simplified acquisition procedures or are awarded on a competitive, fixed-price basis, and do not require application of the cost principles and procedures discussed in this rule. An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has, therefore, not been performed. We invite comments from small businesses and other interested parties. The Councils will consider comments from small entities concerning the affected FAR Part 31 in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. (FAR case 2006–024), in correspondence. C. Paperwork Reduction Act The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the proposed changes to the FAR do not impose information collection requirements that require the PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 31 Government procurement. Dated: December 10, 2007. Al Matera, Director, Office of Acquisition Policy. Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose amending 48 CFR part 31 as set forth below: PART 31—CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 31 continues to read as follows: Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 U.S.C. 2473(c). 2. Amend section 31.205-46 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows: 31.205–46 Travel costs. * * * * * (b) Airfare costs, in excess of the lowest priced coach class, or equivalent, airfare available to the contractor during normal business hours are unallowable except when such accommodations require circuitous routing, require travel during unreasonable hours, excessively prolong travel, result in increased cost that would offset transportation savings, are not reasonably adequate for the physical or medical needs of the traveler, or are not reasonably available to meet mission requirements. However, in order for airfare costs in excess of the above airfare to be allowable, the applicable condition(s) set forth above must be documented and justified. * * * * * [FR Doc. E7–24730 Filed 12–19–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–EP–S DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 [Docket No. NHTSA–2007–0052] RIN 2127–AJ93 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Platform Lifts for Motor Vehicles; Platform Lift Installations in Motor Vehicles National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); grant in part, denial in part of petitions for rulemaking. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\20DEP1.SGM 20DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 244 (Thursday, December 20, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72325-72326]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-24730]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Part 31

[FAR Case 2006-024; Docket 2007-0001; Sequence 12]
RIN: 9000-AK86


Federal Acquisition Regulation; FAR Case 2006-024, Travel Costs

AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration 
(GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) are proposing to amend the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to change the travel cost 
principle to ensure a consistent application of the limitation on 
allowable contractor airfare costs.

DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the FAR 
Secretariat on or before February 19, 2008 to be considered in the 
formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by FAR case 2006-024 by any of 
the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     To search for any document, first select under ``Step 1,'' 
``Documents with an Open Comment Period'' and select under ``Optional 
Step 2,'' ``Federal Acquisition Regulation'' as the agency of choice. 
Under ``Optional Step 3,'' select ``Proposed Rules''. Under ``Optional 
Step 4,'' from the drop down list, select ``Document Title'' and type 
the FAR case number ``2006-024''. Click the ``Submit'' button. Please 
include your name and company name (if any) inside the document.
    You may also search for any document by clicking onthe ``Search for 
Documents'' tab at the top of the screen. Select from the agency field 
``Federal Acquisition Regulation'', and type ``2006-024'' in the 
``Document Title'' field. Select the ``Submit'' button.

[[Page 72326]]

     Fax: 202-501-4067.
     Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory 
Secretariat (VIR), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Diedra Wingate, 
Washington, DC 20405.
    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR case 2006-
024 in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Mr. Edward Chambers, Procurement 
Analyst, at (202) 501-3221 for clarification of content. For 
information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the 
FAR Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAR case 2006-024.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    The travel cost principle at FAR 31.205-46(b) currently limits 
allowable contractor airfare costs to ``the lowest customary standard, 
coach, or equivalent airfare offered during normal business hours.'' 
The Councils are aware that this limitation is being interpreted 
inconsistently, either as lowest coach fare available to the contractor 
or lowest coach fare available to the general public, and these 
inconsistent interpretations can lead to confusion regarding what costs 
are allowable.
    The Councils agreed that the current language at FAR 31.205-46(b) 
does not promote consistency in the application of the cost principle 
and that, accordingly, the cost principle requires clarification. The 
Councils considered three alternative approaches to revising the cost 
principle:
    1. Do nothing, leaving FAR 31.205-46 unchanged;
    2. Amend FAR 31.205-46(b) to explicitly state that allowable 
contractor airfare costs are limited to the lowest standard or coach 
fare available to the general public; or
    3. Amend FAR 31.205-46(b) to explicitly state that allowable 
contractor airfare costs are limited to the lowest standard or coach 
fare available to the contractor.
    With regard to the first option, the Councils do not believe that 
the cost principle can be left unchanged based on the different 
interpretations of which the Councils have become aware. The Councils 
also believe that establishing the lowest coach fare available to the 
general public as the benchmark for cost allowability is not a feasible 
option in practice. Under such a standard, contractors could 
potentially be required to continuously monitor a fluctuating fare 
market to determine what was the lowest fare available on a given day. 
Likewise, Government auditors could not reasonably recreate the 
competitive fare market for each instance of a contractor's travel in 
determining compliance with the cost principle.
    Accordingly, the Councils believe that the reasonable standard to 
apply in determining the allowability of airfares is the lowest coach 
fare available to the contractor. It is not prudent to allow the costs 
of the lowest coach fares available to the general public when 
contractors have obtained lower fares as a result of direct 
negotiation.
    Furthermore, the Councils believe that the cost principle should be 
clarified to omit the term ``standard'' from the description of the 
classes of allowable airfares since that term does not describe actual 
classes of airline service. The Councils believe that ``customary 
coach, or equivalent'' more accurately describes the classes of service 
for which the cost will be considered allowable.
    This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 
subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is 
not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Councils do not expect this proposed 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., 
because most contracts awarded to small entities use simplified 
acquisition procedures or are awarded on a competitive, fixed-price 
basis, and do not require application of the cost principles and 
procedures discussed in this rule. An Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis has, therefore, not been performed. We invite comments from 
small businesses and other interested parties. The Councils will 
consider comments from small entities concerning the affected FAR Part 
31 in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such 
comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. (FAR case 
2006-024), in correspondence.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the proposed 
changes to the FAR do not impose information collection requirements 
that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 
44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 31

    Government procurement.

    Dated: December 10, 2007.
Al Matera,
Director, Office of Acquisition Policy.
    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose amending 48 CFR part 31 as 
set forth below:

PART 31--CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES

    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 31 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 
U.S.C. 2473(c).
    2. Amend section 31.205-46 by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


31.205-46  Travel costs.

* * * * *
    (b) Airfare costs, in excess of the lowest priced coach class, or 
equivalent, airfare available to the contractor during normal business 
hours are unallowable except when such accommodations require 
circuitous routing, require travel during unreasonable hours, 
excessively prolong travel, result in increased cost that would offset 
transportation savings, are not reasonably adequate for the physical or 
medical needs of the traveler, or are not reasonably available to meet 
mission requirements. However, in order for airfare costs in excess of 
the above airfare to be allowable, the applicable condition(s) set 
forth above must be documented and justified.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. E7-24730 Filed 12-19-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-EP-S