Cost Accounting Standards: Cost Accounting Standards 412 and 413-Cost Accounting Standards Pension Harmonization Rule
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), Cost Accounting Standards Board (Board), is publishing this final rule to revise Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) 412, ``Composition and Measurement of Pension Cost,'' and CAS 413, ``Adjustment and Allocation of Pension Cost.'' This revision will harmonize the measurement and period assignment of the pension cost allocable to Government contracts, and the minimum required contribution under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended, as required by the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006. The PPA amended the minimum funding requirements for qualified defined benefit pension plans. The Board issues this final rule to revise CAS 412 and CAS 413 to include the recognition of a ``minimum actuarial liability'' and ``minimum normal cost,'' which are measured on a basis consistent with the liability measurement used to determine the PPA minimum required contribution, and accelerate the recognition of actuarial gains and losses. These and other revisions will better align both the measurement and period assignment of pension cost allocable to a contractor's Government contracts and other final cost objectives in accordance with CAS, and the measurement and period assignment requirements for determining the contractor's minimum pension contribution under the PPA.
Cost Accounting Standards: Change to the CAS Applicability Threshold for the Inflation Adjustment to the Truth in Negotiations Act Threshold
The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) Board (Board), has adopted, without change from the interim rule, a final rule revising the threshold for the application of CAS from ``$650,000'' to ``the Truth in Negotiations Act (TINA) threshold, as adjusted for inflation.'' The change is being made because the CAS applicability threshold is statutorily tied to TINA threshold. The TINA threshold for obtaining cost or pricing data was recently adjusted for inflation to $700,000 in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), as required by the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. Until the interim change for this final rule, the CAS applicability threshold was a stated dollar amount ($650,000) in the Code of Federal Regulations. This wording change effectively revised the CAS threshold to $700,000 and will cause future changes to the CAS applicability threshold to self-execute upon any changes to the TINA threshold as they are implemented in the FAR.
Draft Guidance on Improving the Process for Preparing Efficient and Timely Environmental Reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is issuing its draft guidance on Improving the Process for Preparing Efficient and Timely Environmental Reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act for public review and comment. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and CEQ Regulations implementing NEPA provide numerous techniques for preparing efficient and timely environmental reviews. CEQ is issuing this guidance for Federal departments and agencies to emphasize and clarify these techniques, consistent with a thorough and meaningful environmental review and keeping in mind the following basic principles: (1) NEPA encourages simple, straightforward, and concise reviews and documentation that are proportionate to and effectively convey the relevant considerations in a timely manner to the public and decisionmakers, while comprehensively addressing the issues presented; (2) NEPA should be integrated into project planning rather than be an after-the-fact add-on; (3) NEPA reviews should coordinate and take appropriate advantage of existing documents and studies, including through adoption and incorporation by reference; (4) Early and well- defined scoping can assist in focusing environmental reviews on appropriate issues that would be meaningful to a decision on the proposed action; (5) Agencies are encouraged to develop meaningful and expeditious timelines for environmental reviews; and (6) Agencies should respond to comments in proportion to the scope and scale of the environmental issues raised. This guidance applies to the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) consistent with legal precedent and agency NEPA experience and practice. This guidance does not change or substitute for any law, regulations, or any other legally binding requirement. Rather, it provides CEQ's interpretation of existing regulations promulgated under NEPA.