General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Remove Office of General Counsel Review for Final Payments, 20359-20360 [2021-07817]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 73 / Monday, April 19, 2021 / Proposed Rules submitted, and the emissions from federal agency actions are essentially considered to not be limited. IV. The EPA’s Proposed Action For the reasons explained in Section III, we are proposing to approve the LMP for the Butte NAA and the State’s request to redesignate the Butte NAA from nonattainment to attainment for the 1987 24-hour PM10 NAAQS. Additionally, the EPA is proposing to determine that the Butte NAA has attained the NAAQS for PM10. This determination is based upon monitored air quality data for the PM10 NAAQS during the years 2014–2018. The EPA is proposing to approve the Butte LMP as meeting the appropriate transportation conformity requirements found in 40 CFR part 93, subpart A. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA’s role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action: • Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011); • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866; • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.); • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4); • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999); • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 Apr 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997); • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001); • Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the proposed rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Greenhouse gases, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds. 40 CFR Part 81 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, and Wilderness areas. Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. Dated: April 8, 2021. Debra H. Thomas, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 8. [FR Doc. 2021–07793 Filed 4–16–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 48 CFR Part 532 [GSAR Case 2020–G521; Docket No. 2021– 0008; Sequence No. 1] RIN 3090–AK35 General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Remove Office of General Counsel Review for Final Payments Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration (GSA). AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ACTION: 20359 Proposed rule. GSA is proposing to amend the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to revise internal agency approval procedures for processing a final payment for construction and building service contracts where, after 60 days, a contracting officer is unable to obtain a release of claims from a contractor. DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat Division at the address shown below on or before June 18, 2021 to be considered in the formation of the final rule. ADDRESSES: Submit comments in response to GSAR Case 2020–G521 to: Regulations.gov: https:// www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for ‘‘GSAR Case 2020–G521’’. Select the link ‘‘Comment Now’’ that corresponds with GSAR Case 2020– G521. Follow the instructions provided at the ‘‘Comment Now’’ screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and ‘‘GSAR Case 2020–G521’’ on your attached document. If your comment cannot be submitted using https://www.regulations.gov, call or email the points of contact in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite GSAR Case 2020–G521 in all correspondence related to this case. Comments received generally will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check https://www.regulations.gov approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Logan Kemp, GSA Acquisition Policy Division, at 202–969–4066 or by email at gsarpolicy@gsa.gov, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202–501–4755 or GSARegSec@gsa.gov. Please cite GSAR Case 2020–G521. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background GSA is proposing to amend the General Services Administration Regulations (GSAR) to modify GSAR 532.905–70 so it no longer requires contracting officers to obtain approval of legal counsel before processing final payments for construction and building service contracts where, after 60 days, the contracting officer is unable to E:\FR\FM\19APP1.SGM 19APP1 20360 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 73 / Monday, April 19, 2021 / Proposed Rules obtain a release of claims from the contractors. Legal review is not a statutory requirement, and the decision to process final payments in such cases is a business decision, rather than a legal one. II. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 40 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 121 authorizes GSA to issue regulations, including the GSAR, to control the relationship between GSA and contractors. III. Discussion and Analysis Prior to this rule, GSA guidance on final payments for construction and building service contracts provided that, ‘‘in cases where, after 60 days from the initial attempt, the contracting officer is unable to obtain a release of claims from the contractor, the final payment may be processed with the approval of assigned legal counsel.’’ GSA is proposing to amend GSAR 532.905–70(c) by removing the legal approval requirement because this is a business decision to be made by the contracting officer, not a legal decision. Therefore, if there is implementation of this proposed rule, a contracting officer may instead process a final payment in such a situation after documenting in the contract file: (i) That the contracting officer requested a release of claims from the contractor and did not receive a response within 60 calendar days; and (ii) approval to process the final payment from one level above the contracting officer. IV. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 Apr 16, 2021 Jkt 253001 and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been reviewed and determined by Office of Management and Budget (OMB) not to be a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. V. Congressional Review Act The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a ‘‘major rule’’ may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This rule has been reviewed and determined by OMB not to be a ‘‘major rule’’ under 5 U.S.C. 804(2). VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act GSA does 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. Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has not been performed. GSA invites comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities. GSA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by the rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (GSAR Case 2020–G521), in correspondence. VII. Paperwork Reduction Act This rule does not contain any information collection requirements that PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 35, et seq.). List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 532 Government procurement. Jeffrey A. Koses, Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services Administration. Therefore, GSA proposes to amend 48 CFR part 532 as set forth below: PART 532—CONTRACT FINANCING 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 532 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c). 2. Amend section 532.905–70 by— a. Removing from paragraph (a) ‘‘amount due the Contractor’’ and adding ‘‘amount due to the contractor’’ in its place; ■ b. Revising paragraph (b); and ■ c. Removing paragraphs (c) and (d). The revision reads as follows: ■ ■ 532.905–70 Final payment—construction and building service contracts. * * * * * (b) A contracting officer may only process the final payment for a construction or building service contract once: (1) The contractor submits a properly executed GSA Form 1142, Release of Claims; or (2) The contracting officer documents in the contract file: (i) That the contracting officer requested a release of claims from the contractor and did not receive a response within 60 calendar days; and (ii) Approval to process the final payment from one level above the contracting officer. [FR Doc. 2021–07817 Filed 4–16–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–61–P E:\FR\FM\19APP1.SGM 19APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 73 (Monday, April 19, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 20359-20360]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07817]


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Part 532

[GSAR Case 2020-G521; Docket No. 2021-0008; Sequence No. 1]
RIN 3090-AK35


General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Remove 
Office of General Counsel Review for Final Payments

AGENCY: Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration 
(GSA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: GSA is proposing to amend the General Services Administration 
Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to revise internal agency approval 
procedures for processing a final payment for construction and building 
service contracts where, after 60 days, a contracting officer is unable 
to obtain a release of claims from a contractor.

DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the 
Regulatory Secretariat Division at the address shown below on or before 
June 18, 2021 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in response to GSAR Case 2020-G521 to: 
Regulations.gov: https://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the 
Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for ``GSAR Case 2020-G521''. 
Select the link ``Comment Now'' that corresponds with GSAR Case 2020-
G521. Follow the instructions provided at the ``Comment Now'' screen. 
Please include your name, company name (if any), and ``GSAR Case 2020-
G521'' on your attached document. If your comment cannot be submitted 
using https://www.regulations.gov, call or email the points of contact 
in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for 
alternate instructions.
    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite GSAR Case 2020-
G521 in all correspondence related to this case. Comments received 
generally will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal and/or business confidential information 
provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check https://www.regulations.gov approximately two to three days after submission to 
verify posting.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Logan Kemp, GSA Acquisition Policy 
Division, at 202-969-4066 or by email at [email protected], for 
clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or 
publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 
202-501-4755 or [email protected]. Please cite GSAR Case 2020-G521.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    GSA is proposing to amend the General Services Administration 
Regulations (GSAR) to modify GSAR 532.905-70 so it no longer requires 
contracting officers to obtain approval of legal counsel before 
processing final payments for construction and building service 
contracts where, after 60 days, the contracting officer is unable to

[[Page 20360]]

obtain a release of claims from the contractors. Legal review is not a 
statutory requirement, and the decision to process final payments in 
such cases is a business decision, rather than a legal one.

II. Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 40 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 121 authorizes 
GSA to issue regulations, including the GSAR, to control the 
relationship between GSA and contractors.

III. Discussion and Analysis

    Prior to this rule, GSA guidance on final payments for construction 
and building service contracts provided that, ``in cases where, after 
60 days from the initial attempt, the contracting officer is unable to 
obtain a release of claims from the contractor, the final payment may 
be processed with the approval of assigned legal counsel.'' GSA is 
proposing to amend GSAR 532.905-70(c) by removing the legal approval 
requirement because this is a business decision to be made by the 
contracting officer, not a legal decision. Therefore, if there is 
implementation of this proposed rule, a contracting officer may instead 
process a final payment in such a situation after documenting in the 
contract file: (i) That the contracting officer requested a release of 
claims from the contractor and did not receive a response within 60 
calendar days; and (ii) approval to process the final payment from one 
level above the contracting officer.

IV. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This rule has been reviewed and determined by Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) not to be a significant regulatory action and, therefore, 
was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory 
Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993.

V. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as amended by 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 
generally provides that before a ``major rule'' may take effect, the 
agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes 
a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the 
Comptroller General of the United States. A major rule cannot take 
effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. 
This rule has been reviewed and determined by OMB not to be a ``major 
rule'' under 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    GSA does 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.
    Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis has not been 
performed. GSA invites comments from small business concerns and other 
interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small 
entities.
    GSA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the 
existing regulations in subparts affected by the rule in accordance 
with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments 
separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (GSAR Case 2020-G521), in 
correspondence.

VII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any information collection requirements 
that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 35, et seq.).

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 532

    Government procurement.

Jeffrey A. Koses,
Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of 
Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration.

    Therefore, GSA proposes to amend 48 CFR part 532 as set forth 
below:

PART 532--CONTRACT FINANCING

0
1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 532 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  40 U.S.C. 121(c).

0
2. Amend section 532.905-70 by--
0
a. Removing from paragraph (a) ``amount due the Contractor'' and adding 
``amount due to the contractor'' in its place;
0
b. Revising paragraph (b); and
0
c. Removing paragraphs (c) and (d).
    The revision reads as follows:


532.905-70   Final payment--construction and building service 
contracts.

* * * * *
    (b) A contracting officer may only process the final payment for a 
construction or building service contract once:
    (1) The contractor submits a properly executed GSA Form 1142, 
Release of Claims; or
    (2) The contracting officer documents in the contract file:
    (i) That the contracting officer requested a release of claims from 
the contractor and did not receive a response within 60 calendar days; 
and
    (ii) Approval to process the final payment from one level above the 
contracting officer.

[FR Doc. 2021-07817 Filed 4-16-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-61-P