Federal Acquisition Regulation; Free Trade Agreement (FTA)-Panama, 37695-37696 [2013-14618]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 120 / Friday, June 21, 2013 / Rules and Regulations 25.004 ■ [Removed] for supplies and services for most of the FTAs ($77,494), and equals the Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, and Peru FTA thresholds for supplies and services ($202,000). The excluded services for the Panama FTA are the same as for the Bahrain FTA, Dominican Republic— Central American FTA, Chile FTA, Colombia FTA, NAFTA, Oman FTA, and Peru FTA. 3. Remove section 25.004. [FR Doc. 2013–14617 Filed 6–20–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–EP–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION II. Discussion and Analysis The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (the Councils) reviewed the comments in the development of the final rule. A discussion of the comments is provided as follows: NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Parts 25 and 52 [FAC 2005–67; FAR Case 2012–027; Item IX; Docket 2012–0027, Sequence 1] RIN 9000–AM43 Federal Acquisition Regulation; Free Trade Agreement (FTA)-Panama Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: DoD, GSA, and NASA have adopted as final, without change, an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. This Trade Promotion Agreement is a free trade agreement that provides for mutually non-discriminatory treatment of eligible products and services from Panama. DATES: Effective Date: June 21, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Cecelia L. Davis, Procurement Analyst, at 202–219–0202, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at 202–501– 4755. Please cite FAC 2005–67, FAR Case 2012–027. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES2 SUMMARY: I. Background DoD, GSA, and NASA published an interim rule in the Federal Register at 77 FR 69723, on November 20, 2012, to implement the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. The comment period closed on January 22, 2013. Two respondents submitted comments on the interim rule. The interim rule added Panama to the definition of ‘‘Free Trade Agreement country’’ in multiple locations in the FAR. The Panama FTA covers acquisitions of supplies and services equal to or exceeding $202,000. The threshold for the Panama FTA is $7,777,000 for construction contracts. The Panama FTA threshold for supplies and services is higher than the threshold VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:42 Jun 20, 2013 Jkt 229001 A. Summary of Significant Changes The Councils have adopted the interim rule as final without change. B. Analysis of Public Comments 1. Need for Separate Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Rule Comment: One respondent commented that they were concerned about the necessity of the interim rule, under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, for a separate, redundant DFARS rule for the Free Trade Agreement. Response: Implementation of trade agreements in the FAR is necessary for broad government-wide application of the trade agreements. DoD needs its unique provisions and clauses to cover Buy American and trade agreements because of unique requirements. One of the most significant reasons is the need to address the products of qualifying countries (those countries with which DoD has a Reciprocal Defense Procurement Memorandum of Understanding or other International Agreement). In addition, the Oman FTA and the Israeli Trade Agreement do not apply to DoD acquisitions. There are also statutory and policy determinations that impact DoD acquisitions of the products of Iraq and Afghanistan and other countries in the region (South Caucasus and Central and South Asia). DoD also continues to implement the Balance of Payments Program, applying the principles of the Buy American statute to acquisitions of goods for use outside the United States. Therefore, DoD has never been able to rely on promulgation of Free Trade Agreements solely within the FAR. 2. Information Collection Requirement Comment: One respondent was further concerned that the information collection requirement is not negligible as characterized by the DFARS interim PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 37695 rule. According to the respondent, the DFARS requirement will require costly duplicate reporting in order to maintain compliance and is therefore not negligible. Response: The Federal Register preamble for the FAR and DFARS rules did not state that the information collection requirement relating to Free Trade Agreements was negligible. The statement was that the change caused by adding Panama as a Free Trade Agreement country is negligible. There are approved burdens for the FAR Buy American and trade provisions under OMB clearance numbers 9000–0025, 9000–0130, 9000–0136, and 9000–0141. There are also burden hours approved for DoD acquisitions subject to Buy American or trade agreements under OMB clearance number 0704–0229. The DFARS requirement does not cause duplicate reporting, because no solicitation should include both the FAR and the DFARS Buy American and/or trade agreements provision. The DFARS provisions are used in lieu of the FAR provisions. 3. Access Through Canal and Security for Cargo Comment: One respondent commented that we should work with other companies for joint economic development projects and, as to Panama, make certain that the agreements provide that we will have continued access through the canal and the necessary security for our cargo. Response: The Council takes no position on this comment because it is outside the scope of this case, which was limited to implementing the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. The Office of the United States Trade Representative negotiates the treaties, which are then implemented in law by Congress. III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This E:\FR\FM\21JNR2.SGM 21JNR2 37696 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 120 / Friday, June 21, 2013 / Rules and Regulations rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804. Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113. IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act [FR Doc. 2013–14618 Filed 6–20–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–EP–P The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration certify that this final rule will not 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 although the rule now opens up Government procurement to the goods and services of Panama, DoD, GSA, and NASA do not anticipate any significant economic impact on U.S. small businesses. The Department of Defense only applies the trade agreements to the non-defense items listed at DFARS 225.401–70, and acquisitions that are set aside or provide other form of preference for small businesses are exempt. FAR 19.502–2 states that acquisitions of supplies or services with an anticipated dollar value between $3,000 and $150,000 (with some exceptions) are automatically reserved for small business concerns. V. Paperwork Reduction Act The rule affects the certification and information collection requirements in the provisions at FAR 52.212–3, 52.225– 4, 52.225–6, and 52.225–11 currently approved under the OMB Control Numbers 9000–0136, titled: Commercial Item Acquisition; 9000–0130, titled: Buy American Act-Free Trade Agreements– Israeli Trade Act Certificate; 9000–0025, titled: Trade Agreements Certificate; and 9000–0141, titled: Buy AmericanConstruction, respectively, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). The impact, however, is negligible, because it is just a question of which category offered goods from Panama would be listed under. List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 25 and 52 Government procurement. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES2 Dated: June 13, 2013. William Clark, Acting Director, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy. Accordingly, the interim rule amending 48 CFR parts 25 and 52, which was published in the Federal Register at 77 FR 69723, on November 20, 2012, is adopted as a final rule without change. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:42 Jun 20, 2013 Jkt 229001 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 31 [FAC 2005–67; FAR Case 2011–019; Item X; Docket 2011–0019, Sequence 1] RIN 9000–AM23 Federal Acquisition Regulation; Updated Postretirement Benefit (PRB) References Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: DoD, GSA and NASA are issuing a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to remove references to specific paragraphs of an accounting standard that were deleted in the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB’s) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The references no longer exist in the authoritative GAAP (the ASC). This final rule replaces the current GAAP references in the FAR with explicit criteria that generally replicate the substance of the formerly referenced GAAP methodology so that the substance of the FAR does not change as a result of this final rule. DATES: Effective Date: July 22, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Edward N. Chambers, Procurement Analyst, at 202–501–3221 for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at 202–501–4755. Please cite FAC 2005–67, FAR Case 2011–019. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background Interim Rule Adopted as Final Without Change ■ DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 77 FR 29305 on May 17, 2012, to replace the obsolete references to paragraphs 110, 112, and 113 of Financial Accounting Standard (FAS) 106 (provisions of GAAP that no longer exist) in FAR 31.205–6(o)(2)(iii)(A)(1) with explicit criteria that generally PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4700 replicate the GAAP methodology detailed in the deleted paragraphs. This revision is intended to allow a general continuation for FAR purposes (for PRB costs for Government contract cost accounting) of the now-obsolete GAAP delayed recognition method for contractors that move from a pay-asyou-go method of accounting to an accrual basis of accounting. In June of 2009, the FASB announced, in its Statement Number 168, that effective for financial statements issued for interim and annual periods ending after September 15, 2009, the ASC would become the source of authoritative U.S. GAAP recognized by the FASB to be applied by nongovernmental entities. The FASB stated that this codification supersedes existing references in U.S. GAAP. The now-superseded GAAP provisions in FAR 31.205– 6(o)(2)(iii)(A)(1) referenced the description of ‘‘transition obligation’’ in paragraph 110 of FAS 106 and the ‘‘delayed recognition methodology’’ in paragraphs 112 and 113, also of FAS 106. These references to FAS 106 in the cost principle were added in FAR Case 91–42, published in the Federal Register at 56 FR 41738 on August 22, 1991. At the time, the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) decided not to allow contractors to claim the entire ‘‘transition obligation’’ associated with their initial application of FAS 106 as an allowable cost in accordance with the ‘‘immediate recognition’’ procedure in (the now-superseded) paragraph 111 of FAS 106. (The transition obligation associated with initial application of FAS 106 is referred to hereafter as the ‘‘initial application transition obligation.’’) Therefore, the Councils disallowed costs for the amortization of the initial application transition obligation in excess of the amount amortized using the delayed recognition method procedure in (the nowsuperseded) paragraphs 112 and 113 of FAS 106. As a result of the FASB announcement that the ASC is now the source of the authoritative U.S. GAAP, the Councils note that the references to paragraphs 111, 112, and 113, respectively, of FAS 106 (for the immediate and delayed recognition procedures for the initial application transition obligation), are no longer valid because FAS 106 no longer exists in the authoritative GAAP (the ASC). When the FASB recodified FAS 106 into the ASC, paragraphs 111 through 114 were not included because public E:\FR\FM\21JNR2.SGM 21JNR2

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 120 (Friday, June 21, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37695-37696]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14618]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Parts 25 and 52

[FAC 2005-67; FAR Case 2012-027; Item IX; Docket 2012-0027, Sequence 1]
RIN 9000-AM43


Federal Acquisition Regulation; Free Trade Agreement (FTA)-Panama

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: DoD, GSA, and NASA have adopted as final, without change, an 
interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to 
implement the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. This 
Trade Promotion Agreement is a free trade agreement that provides for 
mutually non-discriminatory treatment of eligible products and services 
from Panama.

DATES: Effective Date: June 21, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Cecelia L. Davis, Procurement 
Analyst, at 202-219-0202, for clarification of content. For information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory 
Secretariat at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-67, FAR Case 2012-
027.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    DoD, GSA, and NASA published an interim rule in the Federal 
Register at 77 FR 69723, on November 20, 2012, to implement the United 
States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. The comment period closed on 
January 22, 2013. Two respondents submitted comments on the interim 
rule.
    The interim rule added Panama to the definition of ``Free Trade 
Agreement country'' in multiple locations in the FAR. The Panama FTA 
covers acquisitions of supplies and services equal to or exceeding 
$202,000. The threshold for the Panama FTA is $7,777,000 for 
construction contracts. The Panama FTA threshold for supplies and 
services is higher than the threshold for supplies and services for 
most of the FTAs ($77,494), and equals the Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, and 
Peru FTA thresholds for supplies and services ($202,000). The excluded 
services for the Panama FTA are the same as for the Bahrain FTA, 
Dominican Republic--Central American FTA, Chile FTA, Colombia FTA, 
NAFTA, Oman FTA, and Peru FTA.

II. Discussion and Analysis

    The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition 
Regulations Council (the Councils) reviewed the comments in the 
development of the final rule. A discussion of the comments is provided 
as follows:

A. Summary of Significant Changes

    The Councils have adopted the interim rule as final without change.

B. Analysis of Public Comments

1. Need for Separate Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement 
(DFARS) Rule
    Comment: One respondent commented that they were concerned about 
the necessity of the interim rule, under Executive Orders 12866 and 
13563, for a separate, redundant DFARS rule for the Free Trade 
Agreement.
    Response: Implementation of trade agreements in the FAR is 
necessary for broad government-wide application of the trade 
agreements. DoD needs its unique provisions and clauses to cover Buy 
American and trade agreements because of unique requirements. One of 
the most significant reasons is the need to address the products of 
qualifying countries (those countries with which DoD has a Reciprocal 
Defense Procurement Memorandum of Understanding or other International 
Agreement). In addition, the Oman FTA and the Israeli Trade Agreement 
do not apply to DoD acquisitions. There are also statutory and policy 
determinations that impact DoD acquisitions of the products of Iraq and 
Afghanistan and other countries in the region (South Caucasus and 
Central and South Asia). DoD also continues to implement the Balance of 
Payments Program, applying the principles of the Buy American statute 
to acquisitions of goods for use outside the United States. Therefore, 
DoD has never been able to rely on promulgation of Free Trade 
Agreements solely within the FAR.
2. Information Collection Requirement
    Comment: One respondent was further concerned that the information 
collection requirement is not negligible as characterized by the DFARS 
interim rule. According to the respondent, the DFARS requirement will 
require costly duplicate reporting in order to maintain compliance and 
is therefore not negligible.
    Response: The Federal Register preamble for the FAR and DFARS rules 
did not state that the information collection requirement relating to 
Free Trade Agreements was negligible. The statement was that the change 
caused by adding Panama as a Free Trade Agreement country is 
negligible. There are approved burdens for the FAR Buy American and 
trade provisions under OMB clearance numbers 9000-0025, 9000-0130, 
9000-0136, and 9000-0141. There are also burden hours approved for DoD 
acquisitions subject to Buy American or trade agreements under OMB 
clearance number 0704-0229. The DFARS requirement does not cause 
duplicate reporting, because no solicitation should include both the 
FAR and the DFARS Buy American and/or trade agreements provision. The 
DFARS provisions are used in lieu of the FAR provisions.
3. Access Through Canal and Security for Cargo
    Comment: One respondent commented that we should work with other 
companies for joint economic development projects and, as to Panama, 
make certain that the agreements provide that we will have continued 
access through the canal and the necessary security for our cargo.
    Response: The Council takes no position on this comment because it 
is outside the scope of this case, which was limited to implementing 
the United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement. The Office of the 
United States Trade Representative negotiates the treaties, which are 
then implemented in law by Congress.

III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This is a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was subject to 
review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and 
Review, dated September 30, 1993. This

[[Page 37696]]

rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of Defense, the General Services Administration, and 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration certify that this 
final rule will not 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 although the rule now 
opens up Government procurement to the goods and services of Panama, 
DoD, GSA, and NASA do not anticipate any significant economic impact on 
U.S. small businesses. The Department of Defense only applies the trade 
agreements to the non-defense items listed at DFARS 225.401-70, and 
acquisitions that are set aside or provide other form of preference for 
small businesses are exempt. FAR 19.502-2 states that acquisitions of 
supplies or services with an anticipated dollar value between $3,000 
and $150,000 (with some exceptions) are automatically reserved for 
small business concerns.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule affects the certification and information collection 
requirements in the provisions at FAR 52.212-3, 52.225-4, 52.225-6, and 
52.225-11 currently approved under the OMB Control Numbers 9000-0136, 
titled: Commercial Item Acquisition; 9000-0130, titled: Buy American 
Act-Free Trade Agreements-Israeli Trade Act Certificate; 9000-0025, 
titled: Trade Agreements Certificate; and 9000-0141, titled: Buy 
American-Construction, respectively, in accordance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). The impact, however, is 
negligible, because it is just a question of which category offered 
goods from Panama would be listed under.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 25 and 52

    Government procurement.

    Dated: June 13, 2013.
William Clark,
Acting Director, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of 
Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.

Interim Rule Adopted as Final Without Change

0
Accordingly, the interim rule amending 48 CFR parts 25 and 52, which 
was published in the Federal Register at 77 FR 69723, on November 20, 
2012, is adopted as a final rule without change.

    Authority:  40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 
U.S.C. 20113.

[FR Doc. 2013-14618 Filed 6-20-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P