[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 231 (Thursday, December 1, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74755-74756]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30875]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

48 CFR Part 422

RIN 0599-AA19


Office of Procurement and Property Management; Agriculture 
Acquisition Regulation, Labor Law Violations

AGENCY: Office of Procurement and Property Management, Department of 
Agriculture.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Procurement and Property Management (OPPM) of 
the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to amend the Agriculture 
Acquisition Regulation (the ``AGAR'') to add a new clause at subpart 
422.70 entitled ``Labor Law Violations.'' In the final rule section of 
the Federal Register, the Agency is publishing this action as a direct 
final rule without prior proposal because OPPM views this as a non-
controversial action and expects no adverse comments. If no adverse 
comments are received in response to the direct final rule, no further 
action will be taken on this proposed rule, and the action will become 
effective at the time specified in the direct final rule. If the Agency 
receives adverse comments, a timely document will be published 
withdrawing the direct final rule, and all public comments received 
will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this action.

DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the 
Department of Agriculture, OPPM on or before January 30, 2012 to be 
considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified in the subject line as ``48 CFR 
422 Proposed Rule'' by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Mail: Office of Procurement and Property Management, 
Procurement Policy Division, MAIL STOP 9306, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9303.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Room 262, Reporters' Building, 300 
7th Street SW., Washington, DC.
    Instructions: All submissions must be identified as ``48 CFR 422 
Proposed Rule'' for this proposed rulemaking. Please include your name, 
company name (if applicable), email address and/or phone number where 
you can be contacted if additional clarification is required regarding 
your comment(s).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Calacone, Office of Procurement 
and Property Management, at (202) 205-4036 or by mail at OPPM, MAIL 
STOP 9304, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-9303. Please cite ``48 CFR 422 (Proposed 
Rule)'' in all correspondence.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) highly respects and 
follows the policies and laws regarding worker labor protections 
particularly as they

[[Page 74756]]

pertain to the acquisition process. To support these objectives, this 
proposed rule adds a subpart and clause entitled Labor Law Violations 
to the Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR). The AGAR may be 
accessed at: http://www.dm.usda.gov/procurement/policy/agar.html. This 
clause is to be included in all USDA contracts that exceed the 
simplified acquisition threshold, including all contract options.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    USDA certifies that this proposed rule will not have a significant 
impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined in the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. There is no 
additional submission required as a result of this action. The rule 
will not have a significant impact on the small business community or 
on a substantial number of small businesses. The Department invites 
comment on its estimates for the potential impact of this rulemaking on 
small businesses.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the proposed 
rule does not impose any recordkeeping or information collection 
requirements that require approval by the Office of Management and 
Budget.

D. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' and 
Executive Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' 
direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available 
regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select 
regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive 
impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasized the importance 
of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of 
harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. The Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) designated this rule as not significant 
according to Executive Order 12866 and therefore this rule has not been 
reviewed by OMB.

E. Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule is not retroactive and does not preempt State 
or local laws, regulations, or policies unless they present an 
irreconcilable conflict with this rule. Before any judicial action may 
be brought regarding the provisions of this rule, appeal provisions of 
7 CFR parts 11 and 780 must be exhausted.

F. Executive Order 13132

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 13132, Federalism, and does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. 
Provisions of this proposed rule will not have a substantial direct 
effect on States or their political subdivisions or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various government levels.

G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule contains no Federal mandates under the 
regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
of 1995 (UMRA), and therefore a written statement is not required.

H. Executive Order 12372

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 12372, Intergovernmental review of Federal programs, and does not 
establish federal financial assistance or direct Federal development 
with State and local governments, and is therefore outside the scope of 
Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation 
with State and local officials.

I. Executive Order 13175

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments, and does not have tribal implications or impose unfunded 
mandates with Indian tribes.

J. E-Government Act Compliance

    USDA is committed to compliance with the E-Government Act, which 
requires Government agencies, in general, to provide the public the 
option of submitting information or transacting business electronically 
to the maximum extent possible. This proposed rule requires one letter 
from requestors which can be sent electronically to USDA. USDA will 
continue to seek other avenues to increase electronically submitted 
information.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 422

    Classified information, Computer technology, Government 
procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of 
Agriculture proposes to amend 48 CFR part 422, as follows:

PART 422--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 422 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301 and 40 U.S.C. 486(c).

    2. Subpart 422.70 is added to read as follows:

Subpart 422.70--Labor Law Violations


422.7001  Contract clause.

    Insert the clause at 452.222-7001, Labor Law Violations, in 
solicitations and contracts that exceed the simplified acquisition 
threshold. Contracting officers shall report violations to the Office 
of Procurement and Property Management, Procurement Policy Division, 
within two working days following notification by the contractor.


452.222-7001  Labor Law Violations.

    As prescribed in 422.7001, insert the following clause:

Labor Law Violations (August 2011)

    In accepting this contract award, the contractor certifies that 
it is in compliance with all applicable labor laws and that, to the 
best of its knowledge, its subcontractors of any tier, and 
suppliers, are also in compliance with all applicable labor laws. 
The Department of Agriculture will vigorously pursue corrective 
action against the contractor and/or any tier subcontractor (or 
supplier) in the event of a violation of labor law made in the 
provision of supplies and/or services under this or any other 
government contract. The contractor is responsible for promptly 
reporting to the contracting officer when formal allegations or 
formal findings of non-compliance of labor laws are determined. The 
Department of Agriculture considers certification under this clause 
to be a certification for purposes of the False Claims Act. The 
Department will cooperate as appropriate regarding labor laws 
applicable to the contract which are enforced by other agencies.

(End of Clause)

    Dated: November 17, 2011.
Lisa M. Wilusz,
Director, Office of Procurement and Property Management.
[FR Doc. 2011-30875 Filed 11-30-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-98-P