[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 178 (Wednesday, September 14, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 63143-63145]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-22046]


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NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Parts 1816, 1832, 1842, and 1852

RIN 2700-AE34


NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Revised Voucher 
Submission & Payment Process (NFS Case 2016-N025)

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

ACTION: Interim rule.

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SUMMARY: NASA is issuing an interim rule amending the NASA Federal 
Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NFS) to implement revisions to the 
voucher submittal and payment process. These revisions are necessary 
due to section 893 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2016 prohibiting the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) from 
performing audit work for non-Defense Agencies. NASA had delegated to 
DCAA the task of reviewing contractor requests for payment under NASA 
cost-type contracts.

DATES: 
    Effective: September 14, 2016.
    Comment date: Comments on the interim rule should be submitted in 
writing to the address shown below on or before November 14, 2016, to 
be considered in the formation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by NFS Case 2016-N025, using any 
of the following methods:
    [cir] Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments 
via the Federal eRulemaking portal by entering ``NFS Case 2016-N025'' 
under the heading ``Enter keyword or ID'' and selecting ``Search.'' 
Select the link ``Submit a Comment'' that corresponds with ``NFS Case 
2016-N025.'' Follow the instructions provided at the ``Submit a 
Comment'' screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and 
``NFS Case 2016-N025'' on your attached document.
    [cir] Email: John.J.Lopez@nasa.gov. Include NFS Case 2016-N025 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: John J. Lopez, LP-011, 300 E Street SW., Washington, DC 
20546-0001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John J. Lopez, NASA HQ, Office of 
Procurement, Contract and Grant Policy Division, LP-011, 300 E Street 
SW., Washington, DC 20456-0001. Telephone 202-358-3740; facsimile 202-
358-3082.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    This interim rule revises the NFS to implement revisions to the 
voucher submittal and payment process. These revisions are necessary 
due to section 893 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2016 (Pub. L. 114-92) prohibiting DCAA from performing audit work 
for non-Defense Agencies. Section 893 prohibits DCAA from performing 
audit work for non-Defense Agencies until DCAA's backlog of incurred 
cost audits is below 18 months. DCAA's current backlog of cost audits 
is greater than 18 months. NASA had delegated to DCAA the task of 
reviewing contractor requests for payment under its cost-type 
contracts. As a result of section 893, DCAA has ceased cost voucher 
audit support to NASA, in turn, jeopardizing timely payment to 
contractors for work performed. NASA has revised its cost voucher 
submission and payment process to ensure the continued prompt payment 
to its suppliers. Accordingly, the NFS needs to be immediately revised 
to implement procedural changes to minimize cost voucher submission and 
payment delays to NASA suppliers as well the potential accrual of 
Government interest payments to contractors.

[[Page 63144]]

II. Discussion

    Sections of the NFS are being revised to implement changes to 
NASA's voucher submission and payment process. Specifically, NASA is--
     Deleting the outdated clause prescription at NFS 1816.307-
70(e) and associated clause at NFS 1852.216-87 relating to the 
submission of vouchers for payment;
     Establishing a new clause prescription at NFS 1832.908-70 
and associated clause at 1852.232-80 relative to the submission of 
vouchers for payment that reflects electronic submittal of vouchers and 
NASA resources processing these payment requests versus DCAA;
     Deleting NFS section 1842.7101(a) and (b) because DCAA is 
no longer processing vouchers for NASA; thus this guidance is no longer 
needed; and
     Deleting NFS section 1842.7101(c) because the requirement 
of submitting additional hard copies of Standard Form 1034 and Standard 
Form 1035A to the General Services Administration (GSA) is no longer 
required. This outdated process is being replaced by electronic 
submissions.

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 is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 
subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning 
and Review, dated September 30, 1993. 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 guidance will not create additional burden to the 
contractor but rather the rule is intended to update the current 
voucher submission process at NASA, which will result in fewer voucher 
rejections, rework, and payment delays. However, an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis has been performed and is summarized as follows:
    NASA is revising the NFS to implement revisions to the voucher 
submittal and payment process. These revisions are necessary due to 
section 893 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2016 (Pub. L. 114-92) prohibiting DCAA from performing audit work for 
non-Defense Agencies.
    The objective of this rule is to remove the outdated NFS payment 
clause and associated prescription relative to the NASA voucher 
submittal and payment process and replace with a new clause that will 
revamp NASA's cost voucher submission and payment process to ensure the 
continued prompt payment to its suppliers. The revision will also 
minimize cost voucher submission and payment delays to NASA suppliers 
as well the potential accrual of Government interest payments to 
contractors.
    This rule would apply to contractor requests for payment under cost 
reimbursement contracts. An analysis of data in the Federal Procurement 
Data System (FPDS) revealed that cost reimbursement contracts are 
primarily awarded to large businesses. FPDS data compiled over the past 
three fiscal years (FY2013 through FY2015) showed an average of 311 
active cost reimbursement NASA contracts, of which 141 (approximately 
45%) were awarded to small businesses. However, there is no significant 
economic or administrative cost impact to small or large businesses 
because the rule will have a positive benefit in the way of fewer 
voucher rejections, rework, and payment delays. The rule does not 
contain additional reporting requirements, recordkeeping, or other 
compliance requirements.
    The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other 
Federal rules. No alternative approaches were considered, because this 
approach will have minimal impact on small entities.
    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 (NFS Case 2016-N025), 
in correspondence.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule contains information collection requirements that require 
the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35); however, these changes to the NFS 
do not impose additional information collection requirements to the 
paperwork burden previously approved under OMB Control Number 9000-
0070, entitled Payments--FAR Sections Affected: 52.232-1 thru 52.232-4 
and 52.232-6 thru 52.232-11.

VI. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

    A determination has been made under the authority of the 
Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that 
urgent and compelling reasons exist to promulgate this interim rule 
without prior opportunity for public comment. This action to revise the 
submission of vouchers for payment process is necessary to avert the 
rejection of contractor payment requests and potential payment delays, 
which will result in annual cost avoidance to the Government of 
approximately $383,000. In addition, we anticipate the Government 
potentially avoiding approximately $134,000 in late payment interest 
charges.
    Section 893 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 
Year 2016 prohibits the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) from 
performing audit work for non-Defense Agencies. NASA had delegated to 
DCAA the task of reviewing contractor requests for payment under our 
cost type contracts. This interim rule is needed to ensure that 
contractors have the correct procedures for submitting vouchers for 
payment. The existing contract payment clause has submittal of vouchers 
to DCAA for review, however, DCAA is no longer reviewing and approving 
contractor payment requests for NASA. Furthermore, if contractors 
continue to submit payment requests to DCAA, DCAA will reject them 
causing a delay in contractor payments. In turn, this will cause 
additional effort for contractors to rework and resubmit the voucher 
for payment. Immediate implementation of this rule will prevent 
unnecessary rework and resubmission of payment requests by the 
contractor and preclude delayed payments resulting in annual cost 
avoidance of approximately $383,000. This interim rule ensures prompt 
awareness of and compliance by contractors with the new submission of 
vouchers procedures. However, 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 final rule.

[[Page 63145]]

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1816, 1832, 1842, and 1852

    Government procurement.

Manuel Quinones,
NASA FAR Supplement Manager.

    Accordingly, 48 CFR parts 1816, 1832, 1842, and 1852 are amended as 
follows:

0
1. The authority citation for parts 1816, 1832, and 1852 continues to 
read as follows:

    Authority:  51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1.

PART 1816--TYPES OF CONTRACTS


1816.307-70   [Amended]

0
2. Amend section 1816.307-70 by removing and reserving paragraph (e).

PART 1832--CONTRACT FINANCING

0
3. Add subpart 1832.9 to read as follows:
Subpart 1832.9--Prompt Payment
Sec.
1832.908 Contract clauses.
1832.908-70 Submission of Vouchers.

Subpart 1832.9--Prompt Payment


1832.908   Contract clauses.


1832.908-70   Submission of Vouchers.

    Insert clause 1852.232-80, Submission of Vouchers for Payment, in 
all cost-reimbursement solicitations and contracts.

PART 1842--CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION AND AUDIT SERVICES

0
4. The authority citation for part 1842 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  51 U.S.C. 20113(a) and 48 CFR chapter 1.

Subpart 1842.71 [Removed and Reserved]

0
5. Remove and reserve subpart 1842.71.

PART 1852--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES


1852.216-87   [Removed and Reserved]

0
6. Remove and reserve section 1852.216-87.

0
7. Add section 1852.232-80 to read as follows:


1852.232-80   Submission of Vouchers for Payment.

    As prescribed in 1832.908-70, insert the following clause:

Submission of Vouchers for Payment (Sep 2016)

    (a) The designated payment office is the NASA Shared Services 
Center (NSSC) located at FMD Accounts Payable, Bldg. 1111, Jerry 
Hlass Road, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529.
    (b) Except for classified vouchers, the Contractor shall submit 
all vouchers electronically using the steps described at NSSC's 
Vendor Payment information Web site at: https://www.nssc.nasa.gov/vendorpayment. Please contact the NSSC Customer Contact Center at 1-
877-NSSC123 (1-877-677-2123) with any additional questions or 
comments.
    (c) Payment requests. (1) The payment periods designated in the 
payment clause(s) contained in this contract will begin on the date 
a proper request for payment is received by the NSSC payment office 
specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section. Vouchers shall 
be prepared in accordance with the guidance provided by the NSSC at 
the following Web site: https://answers.nssc.nasa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/6643.
    (2) Vouchers shall include the items delineated in FAR 32.905(b) 
supported by relevant back-up documentation. Back-up documentation 
shall include at a minimum, the following information:
    (i) Breakdown of billed labor costs and associated contractor 
generated supporting documentation for billed direct labor costs to 
include rates used and number of hours incurred.
    (ii) Breakdown of billed other direct costs (ODCs) and 
associated contractor generated supporting documentation for billed 
ODCs.
    (iii) Indirect rate(s) used to calculate the amount of billed 
indirect expenses.
    (d) Non-electronic payment. The Contractor may submit a voucher 
using other than the steps described at NSSC's Vendor Payment 
information through any of the means described at https://www.nssc.nasa.gov/vendorpayment, if any of the following conditions 
are met:
    (1) The Contracting Officer administering the contract for 
payment has determined, in writing, that electronic submission would 
be unduly burdensome to the Contractor. In such cases, the 
Contractor shall include a copy of the Contracting Officer's 
determination with each request for payment when the Government-wide 
commercial purchase card is used as the method of payment.
    (2) The contract includes provision allowing the contractor to 
submit vouchers using other than the steps prescribed at NSSC's 
Vendor Payment information Web site. In such instances, the 
Contractor agrees to submit non-electronic payment requests using 
the method or methods specified in Section G of the contract.
    (e) Improper vouchers. The NSSC Payment Office will notify the 
contractor of any apparent error, defect, or impropriety in a 
voucher within seven calendar days of receipt by the NSSC Payment 
Office. Inquiries regarding requests for payment should be directed 
to the NSSC as specified in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (f) Other payment clauses. In addition to the requirements of 
this clause, the Contractor shall meet the requirements of the 
appropriate payment clauses in this contract when submitting payment 
requests.
    (g) In the event that amounts are withheld from payment in 
accordance with provisions of this contract, a separate payment 
request for the amount withheld will be required before payment for 
that amount may be made.

(End of clause)

[FR Doc. 2016-22046 Filed 9-13-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7510-13-P