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FEDERAL CONTRACTS PERSPECTIVE

Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions


SEPTEMBER 2001
Vol. II, No. 9

CONTENTS

Flurry of FAR Changes Proposed: Trademarks, Claims, Terminations
Bush Puts Bite on "Vampire Appliances"
DOD Seeks Comments on Buy American Act Exemption
NFS Addresses Child Labor, Property Reporting
SBA Taking Applications for Reservist Loans



Flurry of FAR Changes Proposed: Trademarks,
Claims, Terminations, Commercial Items, Task Orders

When the Bush Administration started on January 20, 2001, one of its first acts was to freeze rules published late in the Clinton Administration so they could be reviewed and possibly rescinded. Several acquisition-related rules were caught in the review process, most notably the "blacklisting rule" (see the May 2001 Federal Contracts Dispatch article "'Blacklisting Rule' Suspended, FAC 97-21 Proposed for Permanent Repeal"). Now that most of the suspended rules have been reviewed and handled appropriately (most were allowed to take effect), the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council is ready to move on to new work -- it published several proposed changes to the FAR during August (and withdrew one proposed rule, too):



Bush Puts Bite on "Vampire Appliances"

On July 31, 2001, President Bush issued Executive Order 13221, Energy Efficient Standby Power Devices, directing agencies to purchase electrical products that use no more than one watt in their standby power consuming mode. This is an attempt by the president to curtail the federal government's acquisition and use of so-called "vampire appliances," that is, those appliances that suck up electricity even when "off". Such appliances as televisions and computers still draw electrical power when not in use to keep internal clocks running and to "power up" more rapidly when turned on.

Executive Order 13221 applies to purchases of "commercially available, off-the-shelf products that use external standby power devices, or that contain an internal standby power function..." The executive order directs agencies to purchase products "that use no more than one watt in their standby power consuming mode. If such products are not available, agencies shall purchase products with the lowest standby power wattage while in their standby power consuming mode. Agencies shall adhere to these requirements, when life-cycle cost-effective and practicable and where the relevant product's utility and performance are not compromised as a result."

The Department of Energy, with help from the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration, is to compile "a preliminary list of products to be subject to these requirements" by December 31, 2001, and update it annually afterwards. "The Department of Energy shall finalize the list and may remove products deemed inappropriate for listing."



DOD Seeks Comments on Buy American Act Exemption

Not only has the Department of Defense (DOD) been busy working on revisions to the FAR, but it has been working on revisions to its own Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS):



NFS Addresses Child Labor, Property Reporting

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been busy, too, issuing two final rules amending the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) and one proposed rule:



SBA Taking Applications for Reservist Loans

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that it is accepting applications for Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster loans. The loans are available to a small business employing a military reservist if the reservist is called up to active military duty during a period of military conflict, and he or she is an essential employee critical to the success of the business' daily operation whose call-up has caused or will cause the business substantial economic injury (a sole proprietor who is called up to active duty also qualifies for the loan). The loans have interest rates of no more than 4%, have a term of up to 30 years, and are capped at $1,500,000.

The offices where one can obtain an application are:

The program was authorized by the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-50), Section 402, Assistance to Active Duty Military Reservists. The regulations for the program were added August 24, 2001, as Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Business and Credit Administration; Chapter 1, Small Business Administration; Part 123, Business Loans; Subpart F, Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

For more on the program, see the August 2001 Federal Contracts Perspective article "SBA to Provide Loans When Reservists are Called Up."



Copyright 2001 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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