[Federal Register: June 30, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 127)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 40829-40834]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30jn00-36]                         


[[Page 40829]]

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Part V





Department of Defense

General Services Administration

National Aeronautics and Space Administration





48 CFR Parts 9, 14, 15, 31, and 52



Federal Acquisition Regulation; Contractor Responsibility, Labor 
Relations Costs, and Costs Relating to Legal and Other Proceedings; 
Proposed Rule


[[Page 40830]]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Parts 9, 14, 15, 31, and 52

[FAR Case 1999-010]
RIN 9000-AI40

 
Federal Acquisition Regulation; Contractor Responsibility, Labor 
Relations Costs, and Costs Relating to Legal and Other Proceedings

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

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC) and the Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council (DARC) published in the Federal 
Register at 64 FR 37360, July 9, 1999, a proposed rule for public 
comment related to contractor responsibility and costs incurred in 
legal and other proceedings. The comment period lasted 120 days. In 
response to the proposed rule, more than 1500 letters were received. As 
a result of the review of those responses, the Federal Acquisition 
Regulatory Council (FAR Council) has decided to publish a revised 
proposed rule.

DATES: Interested parties should submit comments in writing on or 
before August 29, 2000 to be considered in the formulation of a final 
rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to: General Services Administration, 
FAR Secretariat (MVR), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurie 
Duarte, Washington, DC 20405.
    Submit electronic comments via the Internet to: farcase.1999-
010@gsa.gov.
    Please submit comments only and cite FAR case 1999-010 in all 
correspondence related to this case.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The FAR Secretariat, Room 4035, GS 
Building, Washington, DC, 20405, at (202) 501-4755 for information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules. For clarification of 
content, contact Mr. Ralph De Stefano, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 
501-1758. Please cite FAR case 1999-010.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    The CAAC and DARC published a proposed rule amending FAR Parts 9 
and 31 in the Federal Register at 64 FR 37360, July 9, 1999, requesting 
comments from the public. The proposed rule attempted to clarify what 
constitutes a ``satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics'' 
for a federal contractor.
    The comment period for the proposed rule closed on November 8, 
1999. In response to the proposed rule, the CAAC and DARC received more 
than 1500 letters. After reviewing the comments, the FAR Council 
decided to republish the proposed rule with certain changes (as listed 
below). The FAR Council intends this revised proposal to clarify the 
existing requirement that federal contractors must have a satisfactory 
record of integrity and business ethics. They considered all of the 
public comments in preparing this revised proposal.

1. FAR Part 9, Contractor Responsibility.

    a. Integrity and business ethics. The initial rule sought to 
clarify contractor responsibility considerations by adding examples of 
what may be considered ``an unsatisfactory record of integrity and 
business ethics.'' Specifically, it emphasized that contracting 
officers could regard a prospective contractor's lack of compliance 
with tax laws, or substantial noncompliance with labor laws, employment 
laws, environmental laws, antitrust laws, or consumer protection laws 
as indicating an unsatisfactory record of integrity and business 
ethics.
    Many members of the public expressed concerns about the proposed 
rule. They suggested--
    (1) The language in the rule was vague and subjective, raising a 
risk of abuse, and perhaps leading to inconsistent application of law;
    (2) The proposed rule could have the effect of shifting 
responsibility for reviewing and giving effect to violations of law 
from agency debarring officials to contracting officers, placing an 
undue burden on contracting officers;
    (3) The proposal seemed more of a punitive measure than one 
designed to protect the Government's interest;
    (4) The proposal appeared to permit contracting officers to give 
undue weight to unsubstantiated allegations;
    (5) The proposed rule appeared to modify the causes for debarment; 
and
    (6) An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis should be performed, 
because the final rule could have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    After considering all of these comments, the FAR Council is 
replacing the initial proposal with two separate proposed rules. The 
present FAR case represents a revised proposed rule pertaining to 
contractor responsibility and certain cost principles. It includes an 
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (see Paragraph B., Regulatory 
Flexibility Act), which supports a conclusion that the rule is not 
likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. The FAR Council plans to open a new FAR case addressing 
the issue of debarment responding to the public's comments on that 
subject.
    In the present FAR case, the FAR Council has revised the proposed 
rule in a number of ways:
    (1) New language would clarify FAR 9.103 to reflect that 
contracting officers should coordinate with agency legal counsel on all 
non-responsibility determinations based upon integrity and business 
ethics.
    (2) Additional language would modify FAR 9.104-1(d) to confirm that 
satisfactory compliance with federal laws including tax laws, labor and 
employment laws, environmental laws, antitrust laws, and consumer 
protection laws would be part of a satisfactory record of integrity and 
business ethics.
    (3) A revised section clarifies that in assessing contractor 
responsibility, contracting officers may consider all relevant credible 
information, but should give greatest weight to decisions within the 
past three years preceding the offer as follows:
    Convictions of or civil judgments rendered against the prospective 
contractor for--
    (a) Commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with 
obtaining, attempting to obtain or performing a public (Federal, State, 
or local) contract or subcontract;
    (b) Violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes relating to 
the submission of offers;
    (c) Commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, 
falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax 
evasion, or receiving stolen property;
    (d) Any other Federal or State felony convictions or pending 
Federal or State felony indictments; and
    (e) Federal court judgments in civil cases brought by the United 
States against the contractor.
    Federal decisions by Federal Administrative Law Judges or Federal 
Administrative Judges and adjudicatory decisions, orders, or complaints 
issued by any federal agency, board, or commission, indicating the 
contractor has been found to have violated Federal tax, labor and 
employment, antitrust, or consumer protection law.

[[Page 40831]]

    (4) All offerors must certify to contracting officers whether 
within the past three years, they have been convicted of any felonies 
(or have any felony indictment currently pending against them) arising 
from any Federal tax, labor and employment, environmental, antitrust, 
or consumer protection laws, had any adverse court judgments in civil 
cases against them arising from any Federal tax, labor and employment, 
environmental, antitrust, or consumer protection laws in which the 
United States brought the action, or been found by a Federal 
Administrative Law Judge, Federal Administrative Judge, agency, board 
or commission to have violated any Federal tax, labor and employment, 
environmental, antitrust, or consumer protection law. Before 
publication of a final rule, the FAR Council would need to obtain 
approval of this new certification requirement from the Administrator 
for Federal Procurement Policy in accordance with 41 U.S.C. 
425(c)(1)(B).
    (5) New language would modify FAR 14.404-2(i) and 15.503(a)(1), 
which provide for notification to unsuccessful bidders and offerors 
promptly after a non-responsibility determination is made. The 
modification would ensure that if non-responsibility is the basis for 
rejection of the bid or elimination of an offer from the competition, 
then the contracting officer must provide the reasons for the non-
responsibility determination in the notification.
    The FAR Council intends these changes to the initial proposed rule 
to clarify the longstanding requirement that federal contractors have a 
``satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics.'' It solicits 
comments on whether or not this proposal is successful in this regard. 
Comments on whether the revised language in 9.104-1(d) and 9.104-3(c) 
sufficiently clarifies for contracting officers and for federal 
contractors what constitutes a ``satisfactory record of integrity and 
business ethics,'' and what additional or alternative language would be 
helpful in this regard would be particularly useful.
    b. Workplace practices. The initial proposal included changes 
requiring federal contractors to maintain such workplace practices as, 
training, worker retention and legal compliance to assure a skilled, 
stable and productive workforce. After reflecting further on this 
subject, the FAR Council has decided not to proceed with such language. 
The general responsibility standards in FAR 9.104-1(e), which require 
the prospective contractors to have the necessary organization, 
experience, accounting and operational controls, and technical skills, 
or the ability to obtain them, already cover this requirement 
adequately.

2. Cost Principle Changes

    The initial proposed rule would have revised FAR Part 31 to make 
unallowable those costs that a contractor incurs related to--
    1. Influencing an employee's decision regarding unionization (FAR 
31.205-21, Labor relations costs); and
    2. Any judicial or administrative proceeding brought by ``the 
Government,'' if there is a finding that the contractor violated a law 
or regulation (FAR 31.205-47, Costs related to legal and other 
proceedings).
    The CAAC and DARC received comments from 135 respondents on this 
portion of the proposed rule. After careful consideration, the FAR 
Council has decided to make the following changes:
    a. FAR 31.205-21, Labor relations costs. A number of respondents 
indicated that the term ``influencing'' may be too vague, leading to 
difficulty in identifying these types of costs. The FAR Council has 
decided to revise paragraph (b) by substituting the phrase ``assist, 
promote, or deter'' for the term ``influencing'' since this phrase has 
been used in neutrality provisions of cost-based Federal programs for 
years (e.g., 29 U.S.C. 1553(c)(1), 29 U.S.C. 2931(b)(7), 42 U.S.C. 
12634(b)(1) and 42 U.S.C. 9839(e)).
    b. FAR 31.205-47, Costs related to legal and other proceedings. A 
number of respondents suggested that the proposed rule had a number of 
inconsistencies--
    (1) The proposed language at FAR 31.205-47(b)(3) was inconsistent 
with the introductory language at FAR 31.205-47(b). Paragraph (b)(3) 
appeared to apply only to proceedings brought by the Federal 
Government, but the introductory language seemed to refer to 
proceedings brought by State, local, or foreign governments as well. 
The FAR Council has resolved the ambiguity by proposing that the costs 
should be unallowable if incurred in connection with any such Federal, 
State, local or foreign government proceeding. Therefore, there is no 
change to the existing regulations.
    (2) The proposed language in paragraph (b)(3) appeared inconsistent 
with the language in paragraph (b)(2). Paragraph (b)(2), currently in 
the FAR and unchanged in the initial proposed rule, disallows costs 
incurred in connection with a civil or administrative proceeding for 
violation of, or failure to comply with, a law or regulation where 
there is a finding of contractor liability involving fraud or the 
imposition of a monetary penalty. Paragraph (b)(3) made costs 
unallowable if there was a finding of a violation of a law or 
regulation regardless of whether the violation involved fraud or the 
contractor was assessed a monetary penalty. Although the paragraphs are 
intended to be consistent, paragraph (b)(3) appeared to disallow some 
costs allowed under paragraph (b)(2). To remedy this inconsistency, the 
FAR Council proposes to eliminate the language at paragraph (b)(3) and 
expand the scope of paragraph (b)(2) to include findings in any civil 
or administrative proceeding that the contractor violated, or failed to 
comply with, any law or regulation. Since paragraph (b)(2) no longer 
refers to allegations of fraud, the FAR Council has eliminated the 
definition of ``fraud'' in paragraph (a).

Executive Order 12866

    The FAR Council intends to clarify existing regulations concerning 
the assessment of contractor responsibility. It does not regard this 
rule as a significant rule subject to Office of Management and Budget 
review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning 
and Review, dated September 30, 1993. It also does not regard this rule 
as a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The FAR Council has examined whether this revised proposal would 
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. In commenting on the initial proposal, some small 
businesses suggested that the clarification regarding integrity and 
business ethics might result in more adverse responsibility 
determinations, and the denial of contracts to small businesses.
    The FAR Council has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (IRFA) and will provide it to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy 
at the Small Business Administration. The analysis supports a 
conclusion that this rule would not likely have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The analysis is 
summarized below. There was also a concern that the proposed rule would 
change the Certificate of Competency program which is the process 
through which small businesses can challenge contracting officers' 
decisions about contractor responsibility. Nothing in the initial 
proposal nor this revised proposal changes the Certificate of 
Competency program.


[[Page 40832]]


    The objective of the proposed rule is to make it clear that the 
contracting officer should consider violations of federal law in 
determining whether a prospective contractor has an unsatisfactory 
record of integrity and business ethics. The legal basis for the 
proposed rule is 41 U.S.C. 253b and 10 U.S.C. 2305(b), which require 
the Government to award contracts to ``responsible sources''; 41 
U.S.C. 403 defines ``responsible source'' to be in part, a 
prospective contractor who has a record of integrity and business 
ethics. The rule will affect both large and small businesses 
interested in participating in Federal Government procurement. It is 
estimated that approximately 171,000 small entities will be affected 
by this rule. The proposed rule will add a new certification 
requiring prospective contractors to certify whether they have been 
convicted of any felonies (or have any felony indictment currently 
pending against them) arising from any Federal tax, labor and 
employment, environmental, antitrust, or consumer protection laws, 
had any adverse court judgments in civil cases against them arising 
from any Federal tax, labor and employment, environmental, 
antitrust, or consumer protection laws in which the United States 
brought the action, or been found by a Federal Administrative Law 
Judge, Federal Administrative Judge, agency, board or commission to 
have violated any Federal tax, labor and employment, environmental, 
antitrust, or consumer protection law. The certification will be 
required of all businesses, including small businesses, interested 
in submitting offers in response to solicitations that exceed the 
simplified acquisition threshold (see Section C).
    The contracting officer will still be required to forward non-
responsibility determinations for small entities to the Small 
Business Administration in accordance with the certificate of 
competency program. Nothing in that requirement has been changed by 
this rule.
    The proposed change to the FAR pertaining to Part 31 cost 
principles is not expected 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 contained in this 
rule. In fiscal years 1998 and 1999 approximately \1/2\ of 1 percent 
of contracts awarded to small entities were subject to the cost 
principles. Therefore, the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
that has been performed does not address the cost principles.

    A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the FAR Secretariat. The 
CAAC and DARC will consider comments from small entities concerning the 
affected FAR parts 9, 14, 15, 31, and 52 in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
610. The FAR Council will also consider comments on its conclusion that 
this regulation is not likely to have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Comments must be submitted 
separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. (FAR case 1999-010), 
in correspondence.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (Pub. L. 104-13) applies because the 
FAR changes to Parts 9 and 52 increase the information collection 
requirements that have been approved by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 9000-0094. OMB has currently 
approved an annual reporting burden of 91,667 hours based on 1,100,000 
respondents and 1,100,000 annual responses. In preparing the revised 
proposal, the FAR Council has reviewed the number of likely 
respondents. It notes that the average respondent submits numerous 
responses throughout the year. It now estimates that the annual 
reporting burden for OMB Control Number 9000-0094 applies to only 
89,995 respondents, of which approximately 50,000 are affected by the 
new certification requirement. The other 39,995 respondents are 
subcontractors, responding to the prime contractor regarding suspension 
and debarment only. It further estimates that the addition of this new 
certification requirement will increase the total burden hours by 
515,000 hours, for a new total of 606,667 hours. This assumes an 
estimate that the additional certification will take an average of 3 
hours each for 50,000 initial responses and .5 hours each for 450,000 
subsequent responses that year, for a composite average of .75 hours 
per response. In addition, the FAR Council estimates that in 50,000 
cases the contracting officer will request additional information from 
the respondent in accordance with FAR 9.408(a), requiring an additional 
4 hours each for 30,000 initial responses, and 1 hour each for each of 
20,000 subsequent responses for a composite average of 2.8 hours per 
response.
    The revised annual reporting burden is estimated as follows:
    Respondents: 89,995.
    Responses per respondent: 12.8.
    Total annual responses: 1,150,000.
    Average hours per response: \1\ 0.528 hours.
    Total burden hours: 606,667 hours.
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    \1\ Average hours per response is calculated by dividing total 
burden hours by total annual responses.
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    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply to the proposed changes 
to FAR Part 31, Contract Cost Principles and Procedures, because these 
changes do not impose information collection requirements that require 
Office of Management and Budget approval under 44. U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

D. Request for Comments Regarding Paperwork Burden

    Please submit comments, including suggestions for reducing this 
burden, not later than August 29, 2000 to: FAR Desk Officer, OMB, Room 
10102, NEOB, Washington, DC 20503.
    The FAR Council particularly invites public comments on--
    <bullet> Whether this collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and whether it will 
have practical utility;
    <bullet> Whether our estimate of the public burden of this 
collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions 
and methodology;
    <bullet> Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    <bullet> Ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection 
of information on those who are to respond, through the use of 
appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology.
    The commenter may obtain a copy of the justification from the 
General Services Administration, FAR Secretariat (MVR), Room 4035, 
Washington, DC 20405, telephone (202) 208-7312. Please cite OMB Control 
Number 9000-0094, FAR Case 1999-010, Contractor Responsibility, Labor 
Relations Costs, and Costs Relating to Legal and Other Proceedings, in 
all correspondence.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 9, 14, 15, 31, and 52

    Government procurement.

    Dated: June 22, 2000.
Edward C. Loeb,
Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division.

    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose that 48 CFR parts 9, 14, 15, 
31, and 52 be amended as set forth below:
    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 9, 14, 15, 31, and 52 
continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 
U.S.C. 2473(c).

PART 9--CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS

    2. Amend section 9.103 to add a new sentence after the second 
sentence in paragraph (b) to read as follows:


9.103  Policy.

* * * * *
    (b) * * * Contracting officers should coordinate non-responsibility

[[Page 40833]]

determinations based upon integrity and business ethics with legal 
counsel (see 9.104-1(d)). * * *
* * * * *
    3. Revise paragraph (d) of section 9.104-1 to read as follows:


9.104-1  General standards.

* * * * *
    (d) Have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics 
including satisfactory compliance with federal laws including tax laws, 
labor and employment laws, environmental laws, antitrust laws, and 
consumer protection laws. (See 9.104-3(c).)
* * * * *
    4. In section 9.104-3, redesignate paragraphs (c) and (d) as (d) 
and (e) respectively; and add a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:


9.104-3  Application of standards.

* * * * *
    (c) Integrity and business ethics. In making a determination of 
responsibility based upon integrity and business ethics (see 9.104-
1(d)), contracting officers may consider all relevant credible 
information. Contracting officers should give greatest weight to 
decisions within the past three years preceding the offer as follows--
    (1) Convictions of or civil judgments rendered against the 
prospective contractor for:
    (i) Commission of Fraud or a criminal offense in connection with 
obtaining, attempting to obtain or performing a public (Federal, State 
or local) contract or subcontract;
    (ii) Violation of Federal or State antitrust statutes relating to 
the submission of offers;
    (iii) Commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, 
falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, tax 
evasion, or receiving stolen property;
    (iv) Any other Federal or State felony convictions or pending 
Federal or State felony indictments; and
    (v) Federal court judgments in civil cases brought by the United 
States against the contractor.
    (2) Federal decisions by Federal Administrative Law Judges or 
Federal Administrative Judges and adjudicatory decisions, orders, or 
complaints issued by any Federal agency, board, or commission, 
indicating the contractor has been found to have violated Federal tax, 
labor and employment, antitrust, or consumer protection law.
* * * * *

PART 14--SEALED BIDDING

    5. Revise paragraph (i) of section 14.404-2 to read as follows:


14.404-2  Rejection of individual bids.

* * * * *
    (i) The contracting officer must reject low bids received from 
concerns determined to be not responsible pursuant to Subpart 9.1 (but 
if a bidder is a small business concern, see Subpart 19.6 with respect 
to certificates of competency). The contracting officer must promptly 
notify the bidder of the non-responsibility determination and the basis 
for it.
* * * * *

PART 15--CONTRACTING BY NEGOTIATION

    6. Revise paragraph (a)(1) of section 15.503 to read as follows:


15.503  Notifications to unsuccessful offerors.

    (a) Preaward notices--(1) Preaward notices of exclusion from 
competitive range. The contracting officer must notify offerors 
promptly in writing when their proposals are excluded from the 
competitive range or otherwise eliminated from the competition. The 
notice must state the basis for the determination and that a proposal 
revision will not be considered. When the exclusion or elimination of a 
proposal is based on a non-responsibility determination, the 
contracting officer must state the basis for the determination.
* * * * *

PART 31--CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES

    7. Revise section 31.205-21 by designating the existing paragraph 
as paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:


31.205-21  Labor relations costs.

* * * * *
    (b) Costs incurred for activities that assist, promote, or deter 
unionization are unallowable.
    8. Amend section 31.205-47 in paragraph (a) by removing the 
definition ``Fraud''; and revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:


31.205-47  Costs related to legal and other proceedings.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) In a civil or administrative proceeding, a finding that the 
contractor violated, or failed to comply with, a law or regulation;
* * * * *

PART 52--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

    9. In section 52.209-5--
    a. Revise the date of the clause;
    b. In paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B), remove ``a 3-year'' and add ``the 
three-year'' in its place; and remove ``and'' at the end of the 
paragraph;
    c. In paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C), at the end of the paragraph remove 
the period and add ``; and'' in its place; and
    d. Add a new paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) to read as follows:


52.209-5  Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Proposed 
Debarment, and Other Responsibility Matters.

* * * * *

Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Proposed Debarment, and 
Other Responsibility Matters (Date)

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (D) The offeror, aside from the offenses enumerated in 
subdivision (a)(1)(i)(A), (B), and (C) of this provision has 
{time} ; has not {time} ; within the past three years, been 
convicted of any felonies (or has any felony indictment currently 
pending against them) arising from any Federal tax, labor and 
employment, environmental, antitrust, or consumer protection laws, 
had any adverse court judgments in civil cases against them arising 
from any Federal tax, labor and employment, environmental, 
antitrust, or consumer protection laws in which the United States 
brought the action, or been found by a Federal Administrative Law 
Judge, Federal Administrative Judge, agency, board or commission to 
have violated any Federal tax, labor and employment, environmental, 
antitrust, or consumer protection law. If the respondent has 
answered ``has'' to the above question, please explain the nature of 
the violation and whether any fines, penalties, or damages were 
assessed.
* * * * *
    10. In section 52.212-3--
    a. Revise the date of the clause;
    b. Revise the introductory text of paragraph (h);
    c. In paragraph (h)(1), remove ``, and'' and add ``;'' in its 
place; and
    d. In paragraph (h)(2), remove ``within a'' and add ``within 
the'' in its place; and at the end of the paragraph, remove the 
period and insert ``; and''; e. Add a new paragraph (h)(3) to read 
as follows:


52.212-3  Offeror Representations and Certifications--Commercial Items.

* * * * *

Offeror Representations and Certifications--Commercial Items (Date)

* * * * *
    (h) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension or Ineligibility 
for Award (Executive Order 12549).

[[Page 40834]]

(Applies only if the contract value is expected to exceed the 
simplified acquisition threshold.) The offeror certifies, to the best 
of its knowledge and belief, that--
* * * * *
    (3) The offeror has {time} ; has not {time} ; within the past three 
years, been convicted of any felonies (or has any felony indictment 
currently pending against them) arising from any Federal tax, labor and 
employment, environmental, antitrust, or consumer protection laws, had 
any adverse court judgments in civil cases against them arising from 
any Federal tax, labor and employment, environmental, antitrust, or 
consumer protection laws in which the United States brought the action, 
or been found by a Federal Administrative Law Judge, Federal 
Administrative Judge, agency, board or commission to have violated any 
Federal tax, labor and employment, environmental, antitrust, or 
consumer protection law. If the respondent has answered ``has'' to the 
above question, please explain the nature of the violation and whether 
any fines, penalties, or damages were assessed.
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 00-16266 Filed 6-29-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P