The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is publishing final revisions to OMB Circular A-131, Value Engineering, to update and reinforce policies associated with the consideration and use of value engineering (VE). VE is a well-established commercial practice for cutting waste and inefficiency that can help Federal agencies reduce program and acquisition costs, improve the quality and timeliness of performance, and take greater advantage of innovation to meet 21st century expectations and demands. The revisions are designed to ensure that the Federal Government has the capabilities and tools to consider the use of VE for new and ongoing projects, whenever appropriate.
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
To deliver on the promise of a 21st-Century government that is more efficient, effective and transparent, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is streamlining the Federal government's guidance on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards. These modifications are a key component of a larger Federal effort to more effectively focus Federal resources on improving performance and outcomes while ensuring the financial integrity of taxpayer dollars in partnership with non-Federal stakeholders. This guidance provides a governmentwide framework for grants management which will be complemented by additional efforts to strengthen program outcomes through innovative and effective use of grant-making models, performance metrics, and evaluation. This reform of OMB guidance will reduce administrative burden for non-Federal entities receiving Federal awards while reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse. This final guidance supersedes and streamlines requirements from OMB Circulars A-21, A-87, A-110, and A-122 (which have been placed in OMB guidances); Circulars A-89, A-102, and A-133; and the guidance in Circular A-50 on Single Audit Act follow-up. Future reform efforts may eventually seek to incorporate the Cost Principles for Hospitals in Department of Health and Human Services regulations. Copies of the OMB Circulars that are superseded by this guidance are available on OMB's Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circularsdefault/. The final guidance consolidates the guidance previously contained in the aforementioned citations into a streamlined format that aims to improve both the clarity and accessibility. This final guidance is located in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This final guidance does not broaden the scope of applicability from existing government-wide requirements, affecting Federal awards to non-Federal entities including state and local governments, Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations. Parts of it may also apply to for-profit entities in limited circumstances and to foreign entities as described in this guidance and the Federal Acquisition Regulation. This guidance does not change or modify any existing statute or guidance otherwise based on any existing statute. This guidance does not supersede any existing or future authority under law or by executive order or the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Determination of Benchmark Compensation Amount for Certain Executives and Employees
The Office of Management and Budget is publishing the attached memorandum to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies announcing that $952,308 is the ``benchmark compensation amount'' for certain executives and employees in terms of costs allowable under Federal Government contracts during contractors' fiscal year 2012. This determination is required under Section 39 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as amended (41 U.S.C. 1127). The benchmark compensation amount applies to both defense and civilian agencies.
Technical Support Document: Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order No. 12866
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requests comments on the Technical Support Document entitled Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866, available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/ assets/inforeg/technical-update-social-cost-of-carbon-for-reg ulator- impact-analysis.pdf. The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is used to estimate the value to society of marginal reductions in carbon emissions. This Technical Support Document explains the derivation of the SCC estimates using three peer reviewed integrated assessment models and provides updated values of the SCC that reflect minor technical corrections to the estimates released in May of this year. OMB requests that comments be submitted electronically to OMB by January 27, 2014 through www.regulations.gov.
Information Collection; Request for Public Comments
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) invites the general public and Federal agencies to comment on a revision of an approved information form (SF-SAC) that is used to report audit results, audit findings, and questioned costs as required by the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501, et seq.) and OMB Circular A-133, ``Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.'' The first notice of this information collection request, as required by the Paperwork Reduction act, was published in the Federal Register on May 9, 2013 [78 FR 27259]. The proposed changes are to revise some existing data elements in the form and add other data elements that would make easier for the Federal agencies to identify the types of audit findings reported in the audits performed under the Single Audit Act. The current Form SF-SAC was designed for audit periods ending in 2011and 2012. The proposed revised Form SF-SAC will replace the current form for audit periods ending 2013, 2014 and 2015. The detail proposed changes along with the proposed format are described on OMB Web site at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants forms/
Freedom of Information, Privacy Act, and Government in the Sunshine Act Procedures
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is finalizing regulations to implement the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This rule describes the procedures for members of the public to request access to records. In addition, this rule also includes procedures for the Board's responses to these requests, including the timeframe for response and applicable fees.
Notice of Hearing
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) will conduct a public hearing with current and former government officials and others to address the activities and responsibilities of the executive and judicial branches of the federal government regarding the government's counterterrorism surveillance programs. This hearing will continue the PCLOB's study of the federal government's surveillance programs operated pursuant to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Recommendations for changes to these programs and the operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will be considered at the hearing to ensure that counterterrorism efforts properly balance the need to protect privacy and civil liberties. Visit www.pclob.gov for the full agenda closer to the hearing date. This hearing was re-scheduled from October 4, 2013, due to the unavailability of witnesses as a result of the federal lapse in appropriations.