[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 56 (Monday, March 24, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 15921-15924]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06262]



48 CFR Parts 1542, 1552, and 1553

[EPA-HQ-OARM-2013-0736; FRL-9908-08-OARM]

Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR); 
Contractor Performance Information

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct Final Rule.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a direct 
final rule to rescind EPAARs, which include EPA's policies for 
collecting and maintaining contractor past performance information. A 
final rule updating the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) was 
published in Federal Register on August 1, 2013. The changes to the FAR 
make the information in the referenced EPAAR subparts redundant. The 
impact of removing these sections is administrative in nature and will 
not change the overall policies for collecting and maintaining 
contractor past performance which are now detailed in the FAR. EPA does 
not anticipate any adverse comments.

DATES: This rule is effective May 23, 2014 without further action, 
unless adverse comment is received April 23, 2014. If adverse comment 
is received, the EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the rule in 
the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OARM-2013-0736 by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: (202) 566-1753.

[[Page 15922]]

     Mail: EPA-HQ-OARM-2013-0736, OEI Docket, Environmental 
Protection Agency, 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 
20460. Please include a total of three (3) copies.
     Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center--Attention OEI Docket, 
EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004. 
Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of 
operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OARM-
2013-0736. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change, and may be made available online 
at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site 
is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without 
going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket, and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment, and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties, and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public 
docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in http://www.regulations.gov, or in hard copy at the Government 
Property--Contract Property Administration Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, 
Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the EPA 
Docket Center is (202) 566-1752. This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Staci Ramrakha, Policy, Training, and 
Oversight Division, Acquisition Policy and Training Service Center 
(3802R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-2017; email address: 
[email protected].


General Information

    Do not submit any Classified Business Information (CBI) to EPA Web 
site http://www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all 
of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a 
disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or 
CD-ROM as CBI, and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-
ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one 
complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as 
CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information 
claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. 
Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with 
procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.
    2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, 
remember to:
     Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other 
identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and 
page number).
     Follow directions--The Agency may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
     Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, 
and substitute language for your requested changes.
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how 
you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the 
use of profanity or personal threats.
    3. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline 


    EPAAR subpart 1542.15 was last updated July 5, 2011 to establish 
responsibilities for recording and maintaining EPA contractor past 
performance information. Subpart 1542.15 requires the use of the 
Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS); establishes 
frequency and types of reports that are congruent with CPARS; 
establishes EPA personnel responsibilities related to CPARS; provides 
instructions for rating small business subcontracting; provides 
instructions for novation agreements, requires CPARS be documented in 
the official contract file; and requires the use of EPAAR clause 
1552.242-71 which notifies contractors the EPA utilizes the CPARS 
system. EPAAR 1553.209 contains outdated forms previously used by EPA 
personnel to evaluate contractor performance. These forms are no longer 
relevant or utilized. Additionally, recent changes to FAR subpart 42.15 
via a final rule published in Federal Register on August 1, 2013 (78 FR 
46783), make the information in EPAAR subpart 1542.15 redundant. The 
new FAR requirements mirror the current EPA policies for collecting and 
maintaining contractor past performance, and there is no need for an 
agency supplement. FAR subpart 42.15, combined with the CPARS guidance 
and reference material included on the CPARS Web site (www.CPARS.gov) 
provide sufficient policies and procedures for the EPA to satisfy the 
EPA's needs. Specific guidance, such as defining roles and 
responsibilities for EPA acquisition personnel in relation to CPARS 
will be included in the internal EPA Acquisition Guide.

Final Rule

    This final rule makes the following changes: 1. Delete EPAAR 
1542.15, Contractor Performance Information, in its entirety including 
all subsections. 2. Delete EPAAR 1552.242-71, Contractor Performance 
Evaluations. 3. Delete EPAAR 1553.209, Contractor Qualifications, in 
its entirety, including all subsections.

[[Page 15923]]

Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the 
terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is 
therefore not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 
(76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under 
the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. 
Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as Amended by the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et 

    The RFA generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment 
rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any 
other statute; unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, 
and small governmental jurisdictions. For purposes of assessing the 
impact of today's proposed rule on small entities, ``small entity'' is 
defined as: (1) A small business that meets the definition of a small 
business found in the Small Business Act and codified at 13 CFR 
121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of 
a city, county, town, school district or special district with a 
population of less than 50,000; or (3) a small organization that is any 
not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated, 
and is not dominant in its field. After considering the economic 
impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, I certify that this 
action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. In determining whether a rule has a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on 
small entities, because the primary purpose of the regulatory 
flexibility analyses is to identify and address regulatory alternatives 
``which minimize any significant economic impact of the proposed rule 
on small entities'' 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. Thus, an agency may certify 
that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory 
burden, or otherwise has a positive economic effect on all of the small 
entities subject to the rule. Since documenting past performance is 
applicable to large and small entities, this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on small entities. We continue to be 
interested in the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small 
entities and welcome comments on issues related to such impacts.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action contains no Federal mandates under the provisions of 
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 
1531-1538 for State, local, or tribal governments or the private 
sector. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any State, local or 
tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this action is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 or 205 of the UMRA. This 
action is also not subject to the requirements of section 203 of UMRA 
because it contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly 
or uniquely affect small governments.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It 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, as 
specified in Executive Order 13132. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does 
not apply to this action. In the spirit of Executive Order 13132, and 
consistent with EPA policy to promote communications between EPA and 
State and local governments, EPA specifically solicits comment on this 
proposed action from State and local officials.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). Thus, Executive 
Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) 
as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or 
safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of 
the Executive Order has the potential to influence the regulation. This 
action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not 
establish an environmental standard intended to mitigate health or 
safety risks.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001)), because it is not a significant regulatory action 
under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Public Law 104-113, 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) 
directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory 
activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or 
otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical 
standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling 
procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by 
voluntary consensus standards bodies. NTTAA directs EPA to provide 
Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use 
available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. This action 
does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA is not considering 
the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994)) establishes 
federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision 
directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and 
permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission 
by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high 
and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations in the United States. EPA has determined that this final 
rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it 
does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the 

[[Page 15924]]

K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. Section 804 exempts from section 801 the following types 
of rules (1) rules of particular applicability; (2) rules relating to 
agency management or personnel; and (3) rules of agency organization, 
procedure, or practice that do not substantially affect the rights or 
obligations of non-agency parties. 5 U.S.C. 804(3). EPA is not required 
to submit a rule report regarding today's action under section 801 
because this is a rule of agency organization, procedure, or practice 
that does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-
agency parties.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1542, 1552, and 1553

    Contractor performance information, Contractor performance 
evaluations, Contractor qualifications, Government procurement, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: February 6, 2014.
John R. Bashita,
Director, Office of Acquisition Management.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 48 CFR Chapter 
15 as follows:

1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 1542, 1552 and 1553 
continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390, as amended, 
40 U.S.C. 486(c); and 41 U.S.C. 418b.


Subpart 1542.15--[Removed]

2. Remove subpart 1542.15.


Sec.  1552.242-71  [Removed]

3. Remove Sec.  1552.242-71.


Sec. Sec.  1553.209, 1553.209-70, and 1553.209-71  [Removed]

4. Remove Sec. Sec.  1553.209, 1553.209-70, and 1553.209-71.

[FR Doc. 2014-06262 Filed 3-21-14; 8:45 am]