DATE: June 1, 2001

SUBJECT: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement (NFS); Priorities and Allocations

SOURCE: Federal Register, June 1, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 106, page 29727

AGENCIES: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

ACTION: Final Rule

SYNOPSIS: NASA is amending NFS 1811.603, Procedures, to specify that use of a priority rating under the Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) regulation is not required unless the acquisition is in one of the Schedule I approved programs of the DPAS.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The DPAS regulation is in Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Commerce and Foreign Trade, Part 700, Defense Priorities and Allocations System. It is administered by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration, Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, and is available on the Internet at http://www.doc-bxa.bmpcoe.org/dpas.html.

For more on the proposed rule, see the September 20, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "National Aeronautics and Space Administration Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Supplement (NFS); Priorities and Allocations."

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 1, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Cullen, NASA Headquarters, Office of Procurement, Contract Management Division (Code HK), 202-358-1784, e-mail: jcullen@hq.nasa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The Defense Production Act of 1950 authorizes the president to require "the priority performance of contracts and orders necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense over other contracts or orders; to allocate materials, services, and facilities as necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense; and to require the allocation of, or the priority performance under contracts or orders relating to, supplies of materials, equipment, and services in order to assure domestic energy supplies for national defense needs" (DPAS Section 700.1, Purpose of This Regulation). DPAS is the program which implements the Defense Production Act by requiring that contractors give priority treatment to contracts which have priority ratings.

NFS Subpart 1811.6, Priorities and Allocations, contains NFS 1811.603, and paragraph (e)(i) of NFS 1811.603 stated that "the use of priority ratings on NASA contracts and purchase orders is mandatory except as noted in paragraph (e)(ii) of this section." Exceptions in paragraph (e)(ii) included orders against Federal Supply Schedules, petroleum, gas, solid fuel, electric power, production or construction equipment, and several other items.

On September 20, 2000, NASA published a proposed rule to change NFS 1811.603(e)(i) so that it would state "priority ratings are assigned on individual contracts and purchase orders by the contracting officer." Comments were received from the Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, U.S. Department of Commerce. As a result of those comments, NASA is finalizing the proposed rule with several changes. Specifically, NFS 1811.603(e)(i) now provides regulatory references (15 CFR 700.17 and 15 CFR 700.18) to the exceptions to the rating system rather than a detailed listing of those exceptions that was included in paragraph (e)(ii). Because of this change, proposed paragraph (e)(iii) has become paragraph (e)(ii) ("NASA rated orders may only be assigned a DO rating, unless NASA has obtained a DX rating from the Department of Defense"). Also, the listing of the program identification symbols for authorized programs (from Schedule I of the DPAS) which was to be moved from paragraph (e)(iv) to (e)(i) has now been relocated to paragraph (e)(iii).

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Federal Contracts Bookstore (http://www.FedGovContracts.com/bookstor.htm) has "The Defense Priorities and Allocations System." It was revised in 2000, and is $19.95. Since the Commerce Department estimates that 700,000 DPAS rated orders are issued annually, you need to know what DPAS is and your obligations under it!

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2001 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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