[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 2 (Thursday, January 3, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 420-421]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-25028]



12 CFR Part 361

RIN 3064-AD23

Minority and Women Outreach Program Contracting

AGENCY: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.


SUMMARY: This proposal would amend existing FDIC regulations regarding 
the FDIC's contracting activities under its Minority and Women Outreach 
Program (MWOP). These are relatively minor amendments designed to 
eliminate several provisions rendered obsolete by significant 
reductions in FDIC contracting activities and decreases in FDIC staff 
to monitor the contracting activities of Minority and Women-Owned 
Businesses (MWOBs).

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Agency Web site: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal/propose.html. Follow instructions for submitting comments on 
the Agency Web site.
     E-mail: [email protected]. Include ``Part 361--Minority 
and Women Outreach Program Contracting'' in the subject line of the 
     Mail: Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary, Attention: 
Comments, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20429.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Guard station at the rear of the 
550 17th Street Building (located on F Street) on business days between 
7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
    Public Inspection: All comments received will be posted without 
change to http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/federal including any 
personal information provided. Comments may be inspected and 
photocopied in the FDIC Public Information Center, 3501 North Fairfax 
Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on 
business days. Paper copies of public comments may be ordered from the 
Public Information Center by telephone at (877) 275-3342 or (703) 562-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert P. Elcan, Chief, Minority & 
Women Outreach Program Section, Office of Diversity and Economic 
Opportunity, at [email protected] or (703) 562-6070; or Trisha M. Bursey, 
Assistant Director, Division of Administration, Acquisition Services 
Branch, Policy and Operations Section, at [email protected] or (703) 
562-2212; or Chris J. Conanan, Counsel, Legal Division, Corporate 
Operations Branch, Corporate and Legal Operations Section, Contracting 
and Internal Review Unit, at [email protected] or (703) 562-2335.


I. Background

    Section 1216 of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and 
Enforcement Act of 1989 provides that the FDIC shall ``prescribe 
regulations to establish and oversee a minority outreach program[s] * * 
* to ensure inclusion, to the maximum extent possible, of minorities 
and women, and entities owned by minorities and women * * * in all 
contracts entered into by the agency * * *.'' 12 U.S.C. 1833e(c). Since 
1992, the FDIC has promulgated Outreach Regulations implementing this 
statutory directive and has used various approaches to ensure the 
maximum inclusion of MWOBs in contracts entered into by the agency, 
including, among other things, formal solicitations and a focus on 
Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs). The MWOP is administered by the 
FDIC's Office of Diversity and Economic Opportunity (ODEO); however, 
actual contracts are awarded by the FDIC through the Acquisition 
Services Branch, Division of Administration.
    Nonetheless, since promulgation of the Outreach Regulations, and 
amendments made in 1995 and 2000, FDIC contracting activities have 
significantly declined, which has resulted in fewer contract awards to 
MWOBs. Consequently, FDIC staff involved in MWOB registration, 
monitoring, and data collection has been significantly reduced, and the 
provisions in the Outreach Regulations that correspond to these staff 
activities have not been operational for several years. For these 
reasons, the FDIC proposes elimination of obsolete regulatory 
provisions. Specifically, the FDIC proposes to eliminate current 
regulatory provisions that call for registration of MWOBs; quarterly 
MWOB data reports from Offices or Divisions within the FDIC to ODEO; 
and the designation of MWOP coordinators within FDIC Offices or 

II. Request for Comments

    The FDIC welcomes comments on all aspects of this proposal.

III. Solicitation of Comments on Use of Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Pub. L. 106-102, sec. 
722, 113 Stat. 1338, 1471 (Nov. 12, 1999), requires the federal banking 
agencies to use plain language in all proposed and final rules 
published after January 1, 2000. We invite your comments on how to make 
this proposal easier to understand. For example:
     Have we organized the material to suit your needs? If not, 
how could this material be better organized?
     Are the requirements in the proposed regulation clearly 
stated? If not, how could the regulation be more clearly stated?
     Does the proposed regulation contain language or jargon 
that is not clear? If so, which language requires clarification?

[[Page 421]]

     Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, 
use of headings, paragraphing) make the regulation easier to 
understand? If so, what changes to the format would make the regulation 
easier to understand?
     What else could we do to make the regulation easier to 

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that each Federal 
agency either certify that a proposed rule would not, if adopted in 
final form, have a significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities or prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) 
of the proposal and publish the analysis for comment. See 5 U.S.C. 603, 
605. The proposed rule primarily affects the internal operations of the 
FDIC, does not impose any obligations or restrictions on depository 
institutions, including small depository institutions, and does not 
impact the contracting opportunities of small businesses or SDBs. The 
FDIC certifies pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule, if 
it is adopted in final form, will not have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Commenters are nevertheless 
invited to provide the FDIC with any information they may have about 
the likely quantitative effects of the proposal.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The FDIC has determined that this proposed rule does not involve a 
collection of information pursuant to the provisions of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

 VI. The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999-- 
Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    The FDIC has determined that the proposed rule will not affect 
family well-being within the meaning of section 654 of the Treasury and 
General Government Appropriations Act, enacted as part of the Omnibus 
Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1999 
(Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681).

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 361

    Government contracts, Individuals with disabilities, Lawyers, Legal 
services, Minority businesses, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Women.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board of Directors 
of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation proposes to amend title 
12, chapter III, of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 361 continues to read as 

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 1833e.

    2. Revise Sec.  361.3 to read as follows:

Sec.  361.3  Who may participate in this outreach program?

    Any MWOB contractor qualified to provide goods and services to the 
    3. Revise Sec.  361.5 to read as follows:

Sec.  361.5  What are the FDIC's oversight and monitoring 
responsibilities in administering this program?

    The FDIC Office of Diversity and Economic Opportunity (ODEO) has 
overall responsibility for nationwide outreach oversight which 
includes, but is not limited to, the monitoring, review and 
interpretation of relevant regulations. In addition, the ODEO is 
responsible for providing the FDIC with technical assistance and 
guidance to facilitate the identification and solicitation of MWOBs. 
ODEO shall also collect and analyze data on contracting dollars awarded 
to MWOBs as provided by the FDIC's Division of Administration.
    4. Revise Sec.  361.6 to read as follows:

Sec.  361.6  What outreach efforts are included in this program?

    Outreach includes the identification and solicitation of MWOBs who 
can provide goods and services to the FDIC and the distribution of 
information concerning the MWOP. The identification and solicitation of 
MWOBs for the provision of legal and non-legal services will primarily 
be accomplished by:
    (a) Obtaining lists and directories of MWOBs maintained by other 
federal, state, and local governmental agencies;
    (b) Participating in conventions, seminars and professional 
meetings comprised of, or attended predominately by MWOBs;
    (c) Conducting seminars, meetings, workshops and other various 
functions to promote the identification and solicitation of MWOBs;
    (d) Placing MWOP promotional advertisements in minority- and women-
owned media indicating opportunities with the FDIC; and
    (e) Monitoring FDIC staff interacting with the contracting 
community to ensure they are knowledgeable of, and actively promote the 

    By order of the Board of Directors.

    Dated at Washington, DC, this 19th day of December 2007.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Valerie J. Best,
Assistant Executive Secretary.
[FR Doc. E7-25028 Filed 1-2-08; 8:45 am]