Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH
DATE: January 3, 2005
SUBJECT: Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR); Miscellaneous Amendments
SOURCE: Federal Register, January 3, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 1, page 41
AGENCIES: Office of Procurement and Property Management, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
ACTION: Direct Final Rule
SYNOPSIS: USDA is amending the AGAR to bring it into conformance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and to implement changes in USDA delegated authorities and internal procedures.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The AGAR is Chapter 4 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It is available on the Internet at http://www.usda.gov/procurement/policy/agar_x/index.html.
DATES: This direct final rule will become effective April 4, 2005, unless significant adverse comments are received by February 2, 2005. USDA reserves the "direct final rule" procedure for rules it believes are noncontroversial. If USDA receives any adverse comments on the contents of the direct final rule, USDA will withdraw the rule.
ADDRESSES: Comments on this direct final rule may be submitted using any of the following methods: (1) to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov; (2) by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; (3) fax: 202-720-8972; (4) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Procurement and Property Management, Procurement Policy Division, STOP 9303, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-9303; or (5) hand delivery/courier: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Procurement and Property Management, Procurement Policy Division, Reporter's Building, 300 7th Street, SW, Room 310A, Washington, DC 20024. Identify the comments by including "AGAR Case 2004-01" or "Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 0599-AA11."
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph J. Daragan, (202) 720-5729.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The amendments in this direct final rule revise the AGAR to reflect changes in the FAR made by Federal Acquisition Circulars (FACs) 97-02 through 2001-24, and to implement changes in USDA delegated authorities and internal procedures since October 2001, the last time the AGAR was amended.
These AGAR changes concern internal procedural matters which are administrative in nature, and will not have a major effect on the general public or on contractors or offerors supporting USDA.
Most of the changes involve redesignation of AGAR sections to conform to the FAR designations, amendments to organizational references, name changes to subparts and sections, and other editorial changes. The following are the significant changes being made to the AGAR by this direct final rule:
- AGAR Subpart 404.2, Contract Distribution, is added to refer to internal procedures for entering Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) information into USDA's financial system.
- AGAR Subpart 404.6, Contract Reporting, is amended to remove references to the USDA Procurement Reporting System (PRS), which has been replaced by the Federal Procurement Data System -- Next Generation (FPDS-NG), and to implement changes in reporting required by FAR 4.602, Federal Procurement Data System.
- AGAR Subpart 404.11, Central Contractor Registration, is added to clarify the contracting officer's role in the registration process.
- AGAR Subpart 407.3, Contractor Versus Government Performance, is removed and reserved pending revision to FAR Subpart 7.3 and USDA directives to conform to the procedures and policy of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 dated May 21, 2003 (for more on OMB Circular A-76, see the May 21, 2003, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Office of Management and Budget (OMB); Revision of OMB Circular No. A-76, Performance of Commercial Activities").
- AGAR Part 410, Market Research, is added to establish procedures for market research.
- AGAR Subpart 419.2, Policies, is revised to address Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) and veteran-owned small business concerns, and to require small business coordinators to review large contract requirements for bundling.
- AGAR Part 423, Environment, Energy and Water Efficiency, Renewable Energy Technologies, Occupational Safety, and Drug-Free Workplace, is revised to reflect amendments to the FAR, to establish agency procedures to implement FAR Part 23, to remove directions concerning a superseded recycling and waste prevention program, and to provide internal guidance concerning its successor affirmative procurement program.
- AGAR Subpart 425.3, The Balance of Payments Program, is removed because FAR 25.3 was eliminated by Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-07 (see the April 30, 2002, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-07, Miscellaneous Amendments").
- AGRA Subpart 425.4, Trade Agreements, is removed because it is no longer necessary to publicize redeterminations of the Trade Agreement Act dollar thresholds because the information is readily available on the USDA procurement website (http://www.usda.gov/procurement/).
- AGAR Part 434, Major System Acquisition, is amended to reflect the delegation of authority over information technology acquisition to the Chief Information Officer.
- AGAR Part 439, Acquisition of Information Technology, is added to incorporate supplementary guidance on USDA internal procedures for acquisition of information technology.
- AGAR Subpart 445.6, Reporting, Redistribution, and Disposal of Contractor Inventory, is removed because the property-screening requirement it implemented was removed from the FAR by FAC 2001-22 (see the April 5, 2004, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-22, Miscellaneous Amendments").
- AGAR Subpart 450.1, General, is removed and reserved to reflect the removal from the FAR of the requirement to report annually to Congress any contract action in excess of $50,000 issued under the authority of Public Law 85-804 (see the July 26, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 97-19, Miscellaneous Amendments").
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953.
Copyright 2005 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.
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