[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 166 (Thursday, August 27, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 51957-51959]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21101]


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NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Parts 1845 and 1852

RIN 2700-AE23


NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: NASA 
Capitalization Threshold (NFS Case 2015-N004)

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

ACTION: Interim rule.

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SUMMARY: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is 
issuing an interim rule amending the NASA FAR Supplement to increase 
the NASA capitalization threshold from $100,000 to $500,000.

DATES: Effective August 27, 2015.
    Comment Date: Comments on this interim rule should be submitted in 
writing to the address shown below on or before October 26, 2015 to be 
considered in the formation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may submit comments identified by NFS 
Case 2015-N004, using any of the following methods:
    [cir] Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments 
via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering ``NFS Case 2015-N004'' 
under the heading ``Enter keyword or ID'' and selecting ``Search.'' 
Select the link ``Submit a Comment'' that corresponds with ``NFS Case 
2015-N004.'' Follow the instructions provided at the ``Submit a 
Comment'' screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and 
``NFS Case 2015-N004'' on your attached document.
    [cir] Email: [email protected]. Include NFS Case 2015-N004 in 
the subject line of the message.
    [cir] Fax: (202) 358-3082.
    [cir] Mail: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 
Headquarters, Office of Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy 
Division, Attn: Andrew O'Rourke, Room 5L32, 300 E. Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20546-0001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew O'Rourke, NASA Office of 
Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, 202-358-4560, email: 
[email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    In accordance with the Statement of Federal Financial Accounting 
Standard (SFFAS) No. 6, Accounting for Property, Plant, and Equipment, 
federal agencies are to record as property and equipment all items that 
meet certain characteristics, such as a useful life of 2 years or more, 
and are permitted to establish individual capitalization thresholds and 
useful life policies due to their diverse size and uses of property, 
plant & equipment. SFFAS No. 6 was issued in November 1995 and was 
effective for fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1997. The 
current NASA capitalization threshold of $100,000, was established when 
SFFAS 6 was initially implemented and is in the NFS.
    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends that 
capitalization thresholds should be periodically reevaluated to help 
ensure their continuing relevance and are tied to materiality as well, 
in that they generally are established at a level that would not omit a 
significant amount of assets from the balance sheet, which could 
materially misstate the financial statements of an entity or its 
components.
    Recently, the NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer conducted 
a review of the current NASA capitalization threshold of $100,000 and 
based on this review it was determined to increase the capitalization 
threshold from $100,000 to $500,000.

II. Discussion

    This interim rule revises NFS parts 1845 and 1852 by increasing an 
already established NASA capitalization threshold from $100,000 to 
$500,000. Specifically, the proposed changes are as follows:
     Added a new paragraph (b) to section 1845.301-71.
     Changed capitalization threshold amount from $100,000 to 
$500,000 in sections 1845.7101-1, 1845.7101-2, 1845.7101-3, 1852.245-
70, and 1852.245-78.

III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 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). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 
804.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NASA does not expect this interim rule to have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the 
meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., 
because the objective of this interim rule is to increase the already 
established NASA capitalization threshold from $100,000 to $500,000. 
However, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis has been performed 
and is summarized as follows:
    The increase in the NASA capitalization threshold is expected to 
benefit NASA contractors by reducing the administrative burden 
associated with financial reporting of NASA property in the custody of 
contractors. The legal basis for this rule is 51 U.S.C. 20113(a).
    The requirements under this rule will apply to any contract award 
(including contracts for supplies, services, construction, and major 
systems) that

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requires the use of Government property by contractors. According to 
NASA Property Records in FY 2014 there were 568 contracts that required 
reporting of Government property by NASA contractors. Of the 568 
contracts, it is estimated that approximately 20% or 114 contracts were 
small businesses.
    The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other 
Federal rules. No alternatives were identified that would meet the 
objectives of the rule.
    NASA invites comments from small business concerns and other 
interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small 
entities. NASA will also consider comments from small entities 
concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by this rule 
in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such 
comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 (NASA Case 2015-N004), 
in correspondence.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act (Pub. L. 104-13) is applicable. 
However, the NFS changes do not impose information collection 
requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and 
Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. beyond those identified and 
approved as part of the FAR part 45 (Ref OMB Control No. 9000-0075) and 
under NASA OMB Control No. 2700-0017.

VI. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

    A determination has been made by the Assistant Administrator for 
Procurement, pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1707(d) that urgent and compelling 
reasons exist to justify promulgating this rule on an interim basis 
without prior opportunity for public comment. This interim rule is 
needed to prevent the continuation of the mandate of contractors having 
to submit reports at the current threshold specified in the NASA FAR 
Supplement while the NASA Financial Regulation requires reporting at a 
higher dollar threshold. This inconsistency of reporting threshold 
results in contractors incurring costs of reporting unnecessary 
information at taxpayer expense. Immediate implementation of this rule 
will reduce superfluous reporting burdens to contractors resulting in 
savings to both contractor and the Government. By increasing the NASA 
capitalization threshold, we estimate a reduction in reporting of 320 
assets resulting in an annual decrease in burden of 1,920 hours and 
approximately $148,000 in cost avoidance.
    The current NASA capital asset threshold of $100,000 was 
established when Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standard 
(SFFAS) No. 6, Accounting for Property, Plant, and Equipment was 
initially implemented in 1997 and has not been adjusted in the NFS 
since that time. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends 
that capital asset thresholds should be periodically reevaluated to 
ensure their continuing relevance and that they are established at a 
level that would not omit a significant amount of assets from the 
balance sheet. As such the NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer 
conducted a review of the current NASA capital asset threshold of 
$100,000 and based on this review determined an increase in the capital 
asset threshold to $500,000 was warranted per NASA Interim Directive 
(NID) for NPR 9250.1, Property, Plant, and Equipment and Operating 
Materials and Supplies.
    The most effective and efficient way to ensure awareness of and 
compliance by contractors with this increase to the capital asset 
threshold reporting requirement is through an immediate regulatory 
change. Delaying promulgation of this increase to the capital asset 
threshold would cause contractors to continue reporting such assets at 
the lower threshold effectively maintaining this unnecessary 
administrative burden on the contractor and delaying contractor savings 
that would come from this reduced reporting requirement. Moreover, 
contractors would be providing information on capital assets that would 
not be used by NASA since the NID implementing this capital asset 
threshold increase within the NASA financial community is already in 
effect. Pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1707 and FAR 1.501-3(b), NASA will 
consider public comments received in response to this interim rule in 
the formation of the Agency's final rule.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1845 and 1852

    Government procurement.

Manuel Quinones,
Federal Register Liaison.

    Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1845 and 1852 are amended as follows:

PART 1845--GOVERNMENT PROPERTY

0
1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 1845 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 41 U.S.C. chapter 1.


0
2. Amend section 1845.301-71 by adding paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


1845.301-71  Use of Government property for commercial work.

* * * * *
    (b)(1) The Center Procurement Officer is the approval authority for 
non-Government use of equipment exceeding 25 percent.
    (2) The percentage of Government and non-Government use shall be 
computed on the basis of time available for use. For this purpose, the 
contractor's normal work schedule, as represented by scheduled 
production shift hours, shall be used. All equipment having a unit 
acquisition cost of less than $500,000 at any single location may be 
averaged over a quarterly period. Equipment having a unit acquisition 
cost of $500,000 or more shall be considered on an item-by-item basis.
    (3) Approvals for non-Government use, less than 25 percent, may not 
exceed 1 year. Approval for non-Government use in excess of 25 percent 
shall not exceed 3 months.
    (4) Requests for the approval shall be submitted to the Center 
Procurement Officer at least 6 weeks in advance of the projected use 
and shall include--
    (i) The number of equipment items involved and their total 
acquisition cost; and
    (ii) An itemized listing of equipment having an acquisition cost of 
$500,000 or more, showing for each item the nomenclature, year of 
manufacture, and acquisition cost.


1845.7101-1  [Amended]

0
3. Amend section 1845.7101-1 by removing ``100,000'' everywhere it 
appears and adding ``500,000'' in its place.


1845.7101-2  [Amended]

0
4. Amend section 1845.7101-2, in paragraph (a), by removing ``100,000'' 
and adding ``500,000'' in its place.

0
5. Amend section 1845.7101-3 by revising paragraph (f) to read as 
follows:


1845.7101-3  Unit acquisition cost.

* * * * *
    (f) Only modifications that improve an item's capacity or extend 
its useful life two years or more and that cost $500,000 or more shall 
be reported on the NF 1018 on the $500,000 & Over line. The costs of 
any other modifications, excluding routine maintenance, will be 
reported on the Under $500,000 line. If an item's original unit 
acquisition cost is less than $500,000, but a single subsequent 
modification costs $500,000 or more, that modification only will be 
reported as an item $500,000 or more on subsequent NF 1018s. The 
original acquisition cost of the item will

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continue to be included in the under $500,000 total. The quantity for 
the modified item will remain ``1'' and be reported with the original 
acquisition cost of the item. If an item's acquisition cost is reduced 
by removal of components so that its remaining acquisition cost is 
under $500,000, it shall be reported as under $500,000.
* * * * *

PART 1852--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

0
6. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 1852 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 41 U.S.C. chapter 1.


0
7. Amend section 1852.245-70 by revising the date of the clause, 
paragraphs (b)(1)(iv) and (v), and the date of the clause and 
introductory text for Alternate I to read as follows:


1852.245-70  Contractor requests for Government-provided equipment.

* * * * *

CONTRACTOR REQUESTS FOR GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

AUG 2015

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iv) Combine requests for quantities of items with identical 
descriptions and estimated values when the estimated values do not 
exceed $500,000 per unit; and
    (v) Include only a single unit when the acquisition or 
construction value equals or exceeds $500,000.
* * * * *

ALTERNATE I

AUG 2015

    As prescribed in 1845.107-70(a)(2), add the following paragraph 
(e).
* * * * *


1852.245-78  [Amended]

0
8. Amend section 1852.245-78 by removing ``JAN 2011'' and adding ``AUG 
2015'' in its place and in paragraph (a) removing ``100,000'' and 
adding ``500,000'' in its place.

[FR Doc. 2015-21101 Filed 8-26-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7510-13-P