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FEDERAL CONTRACTS PERSPECTIVE

Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions


February 2004
Vol. V, No. 2

CONTENTS

FAC 2001-19 Delays SF 330 Implementation, Revises Trade Agreements Thresholds
Proposed FAR Rules on Electronic Reps and Certs, COTS
OMB Releases Second Set of 2003 FAIR Act Inventories
DFARS Changes Address Payments, Unique Item IDs
Size Standard Set for IT Vendors, Testing Laboratories
NASA Continues Proposed NFS Reissuance
Prompt Payment Interest Rate Set at 4%
M&O Contracts Competition



FAC 2001-19 Delays SF 330 Implementation,
Revises Thresholds for Free Trade Agreements

On January 7, 2004, Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-19 was issued, amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to delay the effective date of the new Standard Form (SF) 330, Architect-Engineer Qualifications, to implement the Chile Free Trade Agreement and the Singapore Free Trade Agreement, and to revise the trade agreements thresholds as determined by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).



Proposed FAR Rules on Electronic Reps and Certs, COTS

In addition to FAC 2001-19, there were five proposed FAR changes published recently:



OMB Releases Second Set of 2003 FAIR Act Inventories

On January 23, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the second set of Fiscal Year 2003 Commercial Activities Inventories of non-governmental functions being performed by government agencies. Inventories in this second set are from the Departments of Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Labor, State, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; General Services Administration; and Small Business Administration.

For more on the first set of FY 2003 inventories, see the December 2003 Federal Contracts Perspective article "OMB Releases First Set of 2003 FAIR Act Inventories."



DFARS Changes Address Payments, Unique Item IDs

The Department of Defense was busy this past month as well, issuing two final rules and one interim rule (in addition to the Chile/Singapore interim rule mentioned above):



Size Standard Set for IT Vendors, Testing Laboratories

The Small Business Administration (SBA) established two small business size standards and terminated two nonmanufacturing rule waivers:



NASA Continues Proposed NFS Reissuance

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) continued its effort to reduce the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) by proposing to eliminate all internal administrative procedures in NFS Parts 1813 through 1825 and retaining only the information that involves the relationship between NASA and its contractors. NASA is proposing to remove the following subparts: 1813.1, 1814.4, 1816.1, 1816.6, 1817.1, 1817.4, 1817.5, 1817.70, 1817.72, 1819.5, 1819.6,1819.8, 1822.3, 1822.4, 1822.6, 1822.8, 1822.10, 1822.13, 1822.14, 1822.15, 1823.3, 1823.4, 1823.7, 1824.2, 1825.10, and 1825.70. In addition, many NFS sections in NFS Parts 1813 through 1825 would be removed.

Comments on the proposed rule (NFS Parts 1813 through 1817, and NFS Part 1819 through 1825) should be submitted on or before February 20, 2004, to Celeste Dalton, NASA, Office of Procurement, Contract Management Division (Code HK), Washington DC 20546 or by e-mail to: Celeste.M.Dalton@nasa.gov. (For more on the NASA proposal to revise NFS Parts 1801 through 1812, see the December 2003 Federal Contracts Perspective article "NASA FAR Supplement Reissuance Proposed."



Prompt Payment Interest Rate Set at 4%

The Treasury Department has established 4% (4.0%) as the interest rate for the computation of payments made between January 1 and June 30, 2004, under the Prompt Payment Act and the Contracts Disputes Act. This rate is also used in facilities capital cost of money calculations. The interest rate for the prior six-month period (July 1 through December 31, 2003), was 3 1/8% (3.125%). The interest rate for January 1 through June 30, 2003, was 4 1/4% (4.25%).

FAR Subpart 32.9, Prompt Payment; FAR Subpart 33.2, Disputes and Appeals; FAR 31.205-10, Cost of Money; and Cost Accounting Standard (CAS) 9904.414, Cost of Money as an Element of the Cost of Facilities Capital, are affected by this interest rate.



M&O Contracts Competition

On January 27, Secretary of Energy Spenser Abraham announced his decision to compete the management and operating (M&O) contracts for the following national laboratories when the current contracts expire:



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