DATE: April 11, 2005

SUBJECT: Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-03, Miscellaneous Amendments

SOURCE: Federal Register, April 11, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 68, page 18953

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

ACTION: Final and Interim Rules

SYNOPSIS: The Federal Acquisition Secretariat is issuing FAC 2005-03 to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in the following areas: (1) purchases From Federal Prison Industries; (2) Section 508 micropurchase exemption; and (3) technical amendments.

DATES: The effective date for these rules is April 11, 2005. Comments on Item (1) should be submitted no later than by June 10, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments on Item (1) to: (a) http://www.regulations.gov; (b) http://www.acqnet.gov/far/ProposedRules/proposed.htm; (c) e-mail: farcase.2003-023@gsa.gov; (d) fax: 202-501-4067; or (e) mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVA), 1800 F Street, NW, Room 4035, ATTN: Laurieann Duarte, Washington, DC 20405. Identify comments on Item (1) by "FAC 2005-03, FAR case 2003-023.”


      Item (1), Linda Nelson, 202-501-1900.

      Item (2), Linda Nelson, 202-501-1900, or Angelena Moy, 703-602-1302.

For general information, contact the FAR Secretariat, Room 4035, GS Building, Washington, DC 20405, 202-501-4755.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: (1) Purchases From Federal Prison Industries -- Requirement for Market Research: This interim rule amends FAR Subpart 8.6, Acquisition from Federal Prison Industries, Inc., to implement Section 637 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (Public Law 108-447), which provides that no funds made available under that or any other act in subsequent fiscal years are to be expended for a product or service offered by Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (FPI), unless the agency making the purchase determines that the offered product or service provides the best value to the buying agency.

Section 637 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Public Law 108-199) contained a similar requirement that applied only to fiscal year 2004 funds. An interim rule implementing the FY 2004 Section 637 was published March 26, 2004 (see the March 26, 2004, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCHFederal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-21, Purchases from Federal Prison Industries, Inc.”). Twelve respondents submitted comments on the first interim rule. This second interim rule incorporates changes made as a result of public comments, and to reflect the FY 2005 appropriations act provision that establishes the permanent requirement that best value procedures be used when purchasing FPI products. The following are the significant differences between the first interim rule and this second interim rule:

(2) Section 508 Micropurchase Exemption: This finalizes, without changes, the interim rule that amended paragraph (a) of FAR 39.204, Exceptions, to extend the micropurchase exemption for purchasing electronic and information technology (EIT) that conforms to the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 from October 1, 2004, to April 1, 2005 (for more on the interim rule, see the October 5, 2004, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCHFederal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2001-25, Miscellaneous Amendments,” Item (4).) Section 508 requires that the EIT developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government provide individuals with disabilities access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use of information and data by individuals without disabilities.

The extension of the micropurchase exception until April 1, 2005, provides agencies time to update their purchase card training on the Section 508 requirements and provide necessary training to personnel. Free online training, developed by GSA, in collaboration with the Section 508 Executive Steering Committee, is available at http://www.section508.gov.

One respondent submitted comments, but the comments were outside the scope of the rule, so the interim rule is adopted as final without change.

(3) Technical Amendments: Item (9) of FAC 2001-01 revised FAR 52.225-13, Restrictions on Certain Foreign Purchases, to update a website reference. However, Item (9) neglected to change the date of the clause from “(DEC 2003)” to “(MAR 2005)”. Therefore, the date of FAR 52.225-13 is revised. Also, FAR 52.225-13 is referenced in paragraph (b)(26) of FAR 52.212-5, Contract Terms and Conditions Required to Implement Statutes or Executive Orders -- Commercial Items, and in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of FAR 52.213-4, Terms and Conditions -- Simplified Acquisitions (Other Than Commercial Items), so the FAR 52.225-13 dates are changed in those paragraphs as well. Finally, because the texts of FAR 52.212-5 and FAR 52.213-4 are changed (by the FAR 52.225-13 date change), the dates of FAR 52.212-5 and FAR 52.213-4 are changed to “(APR 2005)”. (EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on FAC 2005-01, see the March 9, 2005, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCHFederal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-01, Miscellaneous Amendments.”)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953.

Copyright 2005 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

Return to the Dispatches Library.

Return to the Main Page.