[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 200 (Monday, October 17, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71384-71386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24052]



48 CFR Chapter 63

Office of the Secretary

49 CFR Part 6

[Docket No. OST-2013-0142]
RIN 2105-AE27

Update of Department of Transportation Regulations; Termination 
of the Department of Transportation Board of Contract Appeals

AGENCY: Board of Contract Appeals, Office of the Secretary (OST), U.S. 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation is revising its regulations 
by removing chapter 63 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) and amending 49 CFR part 6. These revisions result from our 
ongoing efforts to review and improve our regulations, and will 
harmonize the CFR with Departmental restructuring required by statutory 

DATES: This final rule is effective on October 17, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Laptosky, Attorney, Office of

[[Page 71385]]

Regulation, Office of General Counsel, 202-493-0308, 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 9, 1999, the President signed 
the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, Public Law 106-159, 
113 Stat. 1748, removing regulatory authority over motor carriers from 
the Federal Highway Administration and vesting that authority in the 
newly created Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 
Then, on November 25, 2002, the President signed the Homeland Security 
Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135. In addition to 
creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Homeland 
Security Act reorganized certain agencies of the Federal executive 
branch; in particular, the Homeland Security Act transferred the United 
States Coast Guard (USCG) from DOT to the newly created DHS. See id. at 
Sec. 1704. This final rule revises the Department's regulations to 
reflect the creation of FMCSA and the transfer of USCG to DHS.
    On January 6, 2006, the President signed the National Defense 
Authorization Act for FY 2006, Public Law 109-163 (the Act), 
establishing the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA). Section 847 
of the Act vests the CBCA with jurisdiction over claims that previously 
would have been filed before the boards of contract appeals of 
individual agencies. In light of this change, references to the now-
defunct Department of Transportation Board of Contract Appeals are 
being removed from our regulations.
    Prior to the modifications announced in this final rule, 49 CFR 
6.5, concerning the applicability of the Equal Access to Justice Act in 
DOT proceedings, referred to the ``agency board of contract appeals.'' 
This regulatory language is being revised to reflect the statutory 
changes discussed above, as well as the updated DOT organizational 
    DOT is publishing this final rule without notice and comment under 
the ``good cause'' exemption of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 
U.S.C. 553). The good cause exemption allows agencies to dispense with 
notice and comment if those procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, 
or contrary to the public interest. We have determined that, given the 
obsolete nature of the regulations affected by this final rule, notice 
and comment are unnecessary. For these same reasons, we have determined 
that good cause exists for the final rule to become effective 

Regulatory Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all the 
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). This 
final rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined by 
Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, is not subject to review by the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. As this rule removes and 
updates obsolete regulatory provisions, we expect there to be no costs 
related to the changes made in this rule.

Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This final rule will not have a substantial effect on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels 
of government, within the meaning of Executive Order 13132.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This final rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local 
and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$156 million or more in any one (1) year, and it will not significantly 
or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are deemed 
necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Reform Act of 1995.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Since notice and comment is not necessary for this rulemaking, the 
provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 5 U.S.C. 
601-612) do not apply.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not contain information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed the environmental impacts of this proposed 
action pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and has determined that it is categorically 
excluded pursuant to DOT Order 5610.1C, Procedures for Considering 
Environmental Impacts (44 FR 56420, Oct. 1, 1979). Categorical 
exclusions are actions identified in an agency's NEPA implementing 
procedures that do not normally have a significant impact on the 
environment and therefore do not require either an environmental 
assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS). See 40 CFR 
1508.4. In analyzing the applicability of a categorical exclusion, the 
agency must also consider whether extraordinary circumstances are 
present that would warrant the preparation of an EA or EIS. Id. 
Paragraph 3.c.5 of DOT Order 5610.1C incorporates by reference the 
categorical exclusions for all DOT Operating Administrations. This 
action is covered by the categorical exclusion listed in the Federal 
Highway Administration's implementing procedures, ``[p]romulgation of 
rules, regulations, and directives.'' 23 CFR 771.117(c)(20). The 
purpose of this rulemaking is to remove obsolete language from the 
Department's regulations. The agency does not anticipate any 
environmental impacts, and there are no extraordinary circumstances 
present in connection with this rulemaking.

List of Subjects

48 CFR Parts 6301 and 6302

    Administrative practice and procedure, Government procurement.

49 CFR Part 6

    Claims, Equal access to justice, Lawyers.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, in accordance with sec. 
847 of Public Law 109-163, (119 Stat. 3391), OST amends 48 CFR by 
removing chapter 63 and, under the same authority, as well as the 
authority in sec. 1704 of Public Law 107-296 (116 Stat. 2314), OST 
amends 49 CFR part 6 as follows:

Title 48--Federal Acquisition Regulations System


1. Remove Chapter 63.

Title 49--Transportation


2. The authority citation for part 6 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 504; 28 U.S.C. 2412.

3. Amend Sec.  6.5 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:

Sec.  6.5   Proceedings covered.

    (a) The Act applies to adversarial adjudications conducted by the

[[Page 71386]]

Department of Transportation. These are adjudications under 5 U.S.C. 
554 in which the position of the Department is represented by an 
attorney or other representative who enters an appearance and 
participates in the proceeding. Coverage of the Act begins at 
designation of a proceeding or issuance of a charge sheet. Any 
proceeding in which the Department may prescribe or establish a lawful 
present or future rate is not covered by the Act. Proceedings to grant 
or renew licenses are also excluded, but proceedings to modify, 
suspend, or revoke licenses are covered if they are otherwise 
``adversary adjudications.'' For the Department of Transportation, the 
types of proceedings covered include, but may not be limited to: 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) automotive fuel 
economy enforcement under 49 CFR part 511; Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration (FMCSA) enforcement of motor carrier safety regulations 
under 49 CFR 386; and the Department's aviation economic enforcement 
proceedings conducted by its Office of Aviation Enforcement and 
Proceedings pursuant to 14 CFR Chapter II. Also covered is any hearing 
conducted under Chapter 38 of title 31 of the U.S. Code or the 
Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.).
* * * * *

    Issued under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.27(c).
Molly J. Moran,
Acting General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2016-24052 Filed 10-14-16; 8:45 am]