[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 20 (Wednesday, January 31, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4475-4476]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-1534]



48 CFR Part 601

[Public Notice 5684]
RIN 1400-AB98

Department of State Acquisition Regulation

AGENCY: State Department.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: This proposed rule makes one change to the DOSAR. It revises 
the DOSAR to expand contracting authority to non-U.S. citizen locally 
employed staff, i.e., Foreign Nationals and Third Country Nationals. 
Presently, only U.S. citizens who are Government employees may be 
appointed as contracting officers.

DATES: The Department will accept comments from the public up to April 
2, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by any of the following 
     E-mail: [email protected]. You must include the RIN in the 
subject line of your message.
     Mail (paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions): Gladys Gines, 
Procurement Analyst, Department of State, Office of the Procurement 
Executive, 2201 C Street, NW., Suite 603, State Annex Number 6, 
Washington, DC 20522-0602.
     Fax: 703-875-6155.
Persons with access to the Internet may also view this notice and 
provide comments by going to the regulations.gov Web site at http://www.regulations.gov/index.cfm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gladys Gines, Procurement Analyst, 
Department of State, Office of the Procurement Executive, 2201 C 
Street, NW., Suite 603, State Annex Number 6, Washington, DC 20522-
0602; e-mail address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of State initiated a pilot 
program in which a non-U.S. citizen locally employed staff (LES) member 
at an Embassy was given contracting authority at $2,500 (the micro-
purchase threshold). The pilot resulted in savings in time to process 
transactions, allowed the Contracting Officer at the Embassy additional 
time to concentrate on other procurement and non-procurement issues, 
and increased morale among LES staff through a sense of greater 
empowerment. Although the pilot did not identify specific cost or 
headcount savings, the Department believes that further dissemination 
of contracting authority at increased levels up to $25,000 presents an 
opportunity for overseas posts (Embassies and Consulates) to achieve 
reductions in cost and headcount while improving service, largely by 
providing management flexibility to reconfigure the work portfolios of 
overseas contracting officers. Approximately 97% of all overseas 
procurement transactions are below $25,000. Effective management 
controls will minimize the risks associated with providing contracting 
authority to non-U.S. citizen LES. These controls are similar to those 
currently used successfully in the purchase card program for similar 
transactions. They consist of:
     Review of LES transactions on a monthly basis by a U.S. 
citizen contracting officer;
     Determination and approval of adequate local conditions 
such as rule of law and level of corruption as well as the integrity of 
LES staff recommended for the contracting authority;
     Evaluation of LES delegated procurement by the Office of 
the Procurement Executive;
     Certification by the Ambassadors on an annual basis that 
the management controls are sufficient; and
     Time-limited contracting officer authority to LES to 
permit periodic revalidation of management controls.

Because the current DOSAR language states that all contracting officers 
must be U.S. citizens, a change to the regulation is required. Because 
the rulemaking process will take some time, the Department will select 
several additional pilot posts to continue the deployment process 
during the rulemaking timeframe.

[[Page 4476]]

Regulatory Findings

Administrative Procedure Act

    In accordance with provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act 
governing rules promulgated by federal agencies that affect the public 
(5 U.S.C. 552), the Department is publishing this proposed rule and 
inviting public comment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of State, in accordance with the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this regulation and, by 
approving it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely 
affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary 
under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996. This rule will not 
result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a 
major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on 
competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on 
the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign 
based companies in domestic and import markets.

Executive Order 13132

    This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 of 
Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant 
the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the rule does 
not impose information collection requirements that require the 
approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, 
et seq.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 601

    Government procurement.

    Accordingly, for reasons set forth in the preamble, title 48, 
chapter 6 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended 
as follows:

Subchapter A--General


    1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 601 continues to read as 

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c); 22 U.S.C. 2658.
    2. Section 601.603-3 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read 
as set forth below:

601.603-3  Appointment.

* * * * *
    (c) Non-Federal employees. Only United States Government employees 
shall be appointed as contracting officers. For acquisitions at $25,000 
and below only, this includes locally employed staff (i.e., Foreign 
Service Nationals and Third Country nationals). Personal services 
contractors are not eligible for appointment as DOS contracting 
* * * * *

    Dated: January 23, 2007.
Corey M. Rindner,
Procurement Executive, Department of State.
[FR Doc. E7-1534 Filed 1-30-07; 8:45 am]