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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: April 3, 2003

SUBJECT: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); Central Contractor Registration

SOURCE: Federal Register, April 3, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 64, page 16365

AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

ACTION: Proposed Rule

SYNOPSIS: It is proposed that the FAR be amended to require contractor registration in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database prior to award of any contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement. Also, contracting officers would be required to modify existing contracts to require contractors to register in the CCR database by September 30, 2003.

DATES: Comments are due on or before June 2, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments on proposed rule to General Services Administration, FAR Secretariat (MVA), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, Attn: Laurie Duarte, Washington, DC 20405. Submit e-mail comments to: farcase.2002-018@gsa.gov. Cite "FAR case 2002-018" when referring to this proposed rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Klein, 202-501-3775.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Section 31001 of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-134) requires each contractor doing business with the government to furnish its taxpayer identification number (TIN), and requires that payments for all contracts be made by electronic fund transfer (EFT) except for the following: (a) purchases made with a governmentwide commercial purchase card; (b) awards made to foreign vendors for work performed outside the United States; (c) classified contracts or purchases; (d) contracts that are awarded by deployed contracting officers in the course of military operations or contracts awarded by contracting officers in the conduct of emergency operations; and (e) purchases to support unusual or compelling needs.

To comply with the Section 31001, DOD developed the CCR database to collect and manage the contractor information, and, in 1998, DOD required contractors to register in the CCR database prior to award of a contract, basic agreement, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement. The registration in CCR requires the contractor to provide its EFT address, TIN, Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code, and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Since then, several agencies have decided to require their contractors to register in the CCR, including NASA, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Transportation. Currently, there are more than 200,000 contractors registered in CCR.

In 2001, President Bush identified the increased use of "e-gov" as one of his management agenda items. Shortly after that, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) selected 24 "e-gov initiatives" for development. One of them was the "Integrated Acquisition Environment," which is intended to combine over 20 acquisition-related databases so they share the same data and are accessible through a single Internet portal. The Integrated Acquisition Environment is made up of five modules, one of which is the "Business Partner Network," which consists of all information related to contractors -- "an integrated electronic infrastructure the Government uses to manage (i.e., collect, validate, access and maintain) the information it needs to transact business with its contractors" (definition in proposed FAR 4.1101, Definitions). The Business Partner Network is built around DOD's CCR, which will be expanded to include all government contractors, government agencies involved in interagency acquisitions, and eventually grantees. "This proposed rule will not create a total electronic commerce environment, but will help provide a basic framework or foundation that will allow migration to a total electronic commerce environment," says the introduction to this proposed rule. "There are other projects that are completed (FedBizOpps [http://www.fedbizopps.gov/]) or in the planning stages, which are complementary and will also become part of the total electronic commerce initiative." (EDITOR'S NOTE: The Business Partner Network and its various databases are available at http://www.bpn.gov.)

This proposed rule would amend the FAR to add a new FAR Subpart 4.11, Central Contractor Registration, and implementing clauses. FAR Subpart 4.11 is essentially a copy of Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS) Subpart 204.73, Central Contractor Registration. The following are the significant FAR changes in the proposed rule:

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

Copyright 2003 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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