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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: December 5, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR); Business Ownership Representation

SOURCE: Federal Register, December 5, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 234, page 75863

AGENCIES: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

ACTION: Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: EPA is amending the EPAAR to add EPAAR 1552.204-70, Business Ownership Representation, which requests the successful awardee of an EPA contract to voluntarily identify the specific racial or ethnic category that best represents the ownership of its business.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The EPA Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) is Chapter 15 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/oamrfp12/ptod/epaar.pdf.

For more on the proposed rule, see the June 23, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR); Business Ownership Representation."

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 4, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leigh Pomponio, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Acquisition Management (3802R), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, 202-564-4364.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: On June 23, 2000, EPA published a proposed rule to add EPAAR 1552.204-70, and the clause would be required in all solicitations and contracts over the $100,000 simplified acquisition threshold. This proposed clause would ask the successful awardee to voluntarily identify the predominant racial or ethnic category of the owners. The categories in proposed EPAAR 1552.204-70 (American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; or White) were very similar to those in Alternate II of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 52.219-1, Small Business Program Representation, which is used the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Coast Guard in solicitations expected to exceed $25,000 (Black American; Hispanic American; Native American; Asian-Pacific American; Subcontinent Asian American; Other). However, Alternate II of FAR 52.219-1 only applies to offerors that represent themselves as small disadvantaged business concerns. Furthermore, there is no mechanism for obtaining similar information on large businesses.

One comment was received on the proposed rule, and the racial or ethnic categories have been changed to the following:

      Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino; Not Hispanic or Latino
      Race: American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut; Asian or Pacific Islander; Black or African American; White

In addition, the detailed explanations of who is considered to be in a particular ethnic or racial category have been deleted.

Also, EPAAR Subpart 1504.6, Contract Reporting, is added, and it consists solely of new EPAAR 1504.670, Business Ownership Representation. EPAAR 1504.670 requires contracting officers to include EPAAR 1552.204-70 in all solicitations and contracts over the $100,000 simplified acquisition threshold. It states that "completion of the clause by the successful awardee is voluntary."

EDITOR'S NOTE: In the introductory material to the final rule is the following: "The statistics generated by the clause will help EPA target future outreach initiatives to both large and small business owners who are unaware of EPA contracting opportunities. Possible outreach initiatives may consist of workshops, seminars or conferences and may include presentations on how to do business with EPA or how the government contracting process works. Such outreach efforts will not be limited to target audiences, but will be open to the general public. Further, the information provided by the clause will not be used to establish a set-aside or a quota."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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