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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: December 20, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR); Removal of Contract Quality Requirements

SOURCE: Federal Register, December 20, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 245, page 79781

AGENCIES: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

ACTION: Direct Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: EPA is removing EPAAR Subpart 1546.2, Contract Quality Requirements, and its related clauses because they have been superseded by changes made to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 46.2, Contract Quality Requirements, which reflect a preference for voluntary consensus standards.

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.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule will be effective on March 20, 2001, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments by January 19, 2001. If EPA receives adverse comments on this rule, it will withdraw the rule and publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in a future edition of the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Acquisition Management (3802R), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460. Comments will also be accepted on disks in WordPerfect or ASCII format, or by e-mail to: avellar.linda@epa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Avellar, U.S. EPA, Office of Acquisition Management, (3802R), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, 202-564-4356.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 97-10, dated December 18, 1998, and effective January 19, 1999, amended FAR 46.202-4, FAR 46.311, and FAR 52.246-11 (all titled "Higher-Level Contract Quality Requirements"), to reflect a preference for voluntary consensus standards, rather than federal or military specifications, in the specification of higher-level contract quality requirements. Because of the changes made to the FAR by FAC 97-10, the EPAAR contract quality requirements in EPAAR Subpart 1546.2 are no longer needed, nor are the clauses at EPAAR 1552.246-70, Quality Assurance (QA) Program Plan, EPAAR 1552.246-71, Quality Assurance (QA) Project Plan, and EPAAR 1552.246-72, Quality Assurance (QA) Project Plan Documentation, so this direct final rule will remove them on March 20, 2001, unless there are objections.

When an EPA contract requires compliance with higher-level quality standards, FAR 52.246-11 will be used, and ANSI/ASQC E4, Specifications and Guidelines for Environmental Data Collection and Environmental Technology Programs, will normally be selected as the contract quality standard. However, the EPA contracting officer, after consulting with quality assurance personnel, may determine that other voluntary consensus standards apply to a specific contract, for example, ISO 9001:2000, Quality Management Systems -- Requirements.

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

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