[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 223 (Friday, November 18, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 83097-83103]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27684]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 28, 43, 47, 49, 52, and 53

[FAC 2005-92; FAR Case 2015-035; Item II; Docket No. 2015-0035, 
Sequence No. 1]
RIN 9000-AN23


Federal Acquisition Regulation: Removal of Regulations Relating 
to Telegraphic Communication

AGENCY: Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration 
(GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule amending the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to delete the use of ``telegram,'' 
``telegraph,'' and related terms. The objective is to delete references 
to obsolete technologies no longer in use and replace with references 
to electronic communications. In addition, conforming changes are made 
regarding expedited notices of termination and change orders.

DATES: Effective: December 19, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Camara Francis, Procurement 
Analyst, at 202-550-0935 for clarification of content. For information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory 
Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-92, FAR Case 
2015-035.

[[Page 83098]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in Federal Register at 
81 FR 36245 on June 6, 2016, soliciting public comments on this rule, 
to amend the FAR to delete the use of the terms ``telegram,'' 
``telegraph,'' ``telegraphic,'' and related terminology and make 
conforming changes to the instructions for expedited notices of 
termination and change orders.
    This rule is consistent with the Office of Federal Procurement 
Policy (OFPP) memorandum dated December 4, 2014, on transforming the 
marketplace, which describes ongoing actions to support the needs of a 
21st century Government.
    Two public comments were received supporting the changes.

II. Discussion and Analysis

    The Councils reviewed the public comments in development of the 
final rule.

A. Summary of Significant Changes

    There were no changes made to the rule as a result of the comments 
received.

B. Analysis of Public Comments

    Comment: Two respondents expressed support for the changes, 
highlighting the benefit of removing outdated terms and modernizing 
technologies and regulations.
    Response: The Government notes the public support for this rule.

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

    DoD, GSA, and NASA have prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (FRFA) consistent with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 
U.S.C. 601, et seq. The FRFA is summarized as follows:

    The final rule amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 
to delete the use of ``telegram,'' ``telegraph,'' and related terms. 
These terms are replaced with an option for electronic 
communications. The objective is to delete obsolete technologies no 
longer in use within the context of the FAR requirements. This 
proposed rule is consistent with the Office of Federal Procurement 
Policy (OFPP) memorandum dated December 4, 2014, on transforming the 
marketplace, which describes ongoing actions to support the needs of 
a 21st century Government.
    There were no significant issues raised by the public in 
response to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis provided in 
the proposed rule.
    The final rule would apply to all entities, both small and other 
than small, performing as contractors or subcontractors on U.S. 
Government contracts. In 2014 there were about 350,000 active 
registrants in the System for Award Management (SAM). DoD, GSA, and 
NASA estimate approximately half of the registrants (175,000) are 
small entities that will receive a contract or subcontract in a 
given year. In 2014 small entities received 1,398,605 or about 9 
percent of all actions in that year per the Federal Procurement Data 
System (FPDS). However, the small entities are not expected to be 
affected by this rule, as the only change provided in this rule is a 
revision of the means of disseminating contract termination 
documents between the Government and contractors. This change only 
affects the Government's responsibility for transmitting termination 
notices.

    Interested parties may obtain a copy of the FRFA from the 
Regulatory Secretariat Division. The Regulatory Secretariat Division 
has submitted a copy of the FRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of 
the Small Business Administration.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule does not contain any 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).

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 28, 43, 47, 49, 
52, and 53

    Government procurement.

    Dated: November 10, 2016.
William F. Clark,
Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of 
Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.

    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend 48 CFR parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 
28, 43, 47, 49, 52, and 53 as follows:

0
1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 5, 14, 19, 22, 25, 28, 43, 
47, 49, 52, and 53 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 
U.S.C. 20113.

PART 5--PUBLICIZING CONTRACT ACTIONS


5.504   [Amended]

0
2. Amend section 5.504 by removing from paragraph (d) ``telegrams,''.

PART 14--SEALED BIDDING


14.201-6   [Amended]

0
3. Amend section 14.201-6 by removing and reserving paragraph (g).


14.202-2   [Removed and Reserved]

0
4. Remove and reserve section 14.202-2.

0
5. Amend section 14.208 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


14.208   Amendment of invitation for bids.

* * * * *
    (b) Before amending an invitation for bids, the contracting officer 
shall consider the period of time remaining until bid opening and the 
need to extend this period.
* * * * *


14.301   [Amended]

0
6. Amend section 14.301 by removing paragraph (b) and redesignating 
paragraphs (c) through (e) as paragraphs (b) through (d), respectively.

0
7. Revise section 14.302 to read as follows:


14.302   Bid submission.

    Bids shall be submitted so that they will be received in the office 
designated in the invitation for bids not later than the exact time set 
for opening of bids.

0
8. Amend section 14.303 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


14.303   Modification or withdrawal of bids.

    (a) Bids may be modified or withdrawn by any method authorized by 
the solicitation, if notice is received in the office designated in the 
solicitation not later than the exact time set for opening of bids. If 
the solicitation authorizes facsimile bids, bids may be modified or 
withdrawn via facsimile received at any time before the exact time set 
for receipt of bids, subject to the conditions specified in the 
provision prescribed in 14.201-6(v). Modifications received by 
facsimile shall be sealed in an envelope by a proper official.
    (1) The official shall--
    (i) Write on the envelope--
    (A) The date and time of receipt and by whom; and
    (B) The number of invitation for bids; and
    (ii) Sign the envelope.

[[Page 83099]]

    (2) No information contained in the envelope shall be disclosed 
before the time set for bid opening.
* * * * *


14.407-3   [Amended]

0
9. Amend section 14.407-3 by removing paragraph (g)(4) and 
redesignating paragraph (g)(5) as (g)(4).


14.408-1   [Amended]

0
10. Amend section 14.408-1 by removing from paragraph (d)(2) 
``telegrams or electronic transmissions'' and adding ``electronic 
communications'' in its place.

PART 19--SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAMS


19.302   [Amended]

0
11. Amend section 19.302 by removing from paragraph (d)(1)(ii) 
``telegram,''.

PART 22--APPLICATION OF LABOR LAWS TO GOVERNMENT ACQUISITIONS


22.1003-3   [Amended]

0
12. Amend section 22.1003-3 by removing from paragraph (d) 
``telegraph,''.

PART 25--FOREIGN ACQUISITION


25.401   [Amended]

0
13. Amend section 25.401, in the table, by removing from paragraph 
(b)(2)(iii) ``telegraph services,'', and removing ``47 U.S.C. 153(20)'' 
and adding ``47 U.S.C. 153(24)'' in its place.

PART 28--BONDS AND INSURANCE


28.101-4   [Amended]

0
14. Amend section 28.101-4 by removing paragraph (c)(6) and 
redesignating paragraphs (c)(7) through (9) as paragraphs (c)(6) 
through (8), respectively.

PART 43--CONTRACT MODIFICATIONS

0
15. Amend section 43.201 by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:


43.201   General.

* * * * *
    (c) The contracting officer may issue a change order by electronic 
means without a SF 30 under unusual or urgent circumstances, provided 
that the message contains substantially the information required by the 
SF 30 and immediate action is taken to issue the SF 30.

PART 47--TRANSPORTATION

0
16. Amend section 47.305-10 by revising paragraph (c) to read as 
follows:


47.305-10   Packing, marking, and consignment instructions.

* * * * *
    (c) If necessary to meet required delivery schedules, the 
contracting officer may issue instructions by telephone or electronic 
means. The contracting officer shall confirm telephonic instructions in 
writing, and confirm electronic instructions if the contracting officer 
did not receive confirmation of receipt.
* * * * *

PART 49--TERMINATION OF CONTRACTS

0
17. Amend section 49.102 by revising the introductory text of paragraph 
(a) to read as follows:


49.102  Notice of termination.

    (a) General. The contracting officer shall terminate contracts for 
convenience or default only by a written notice to the contractor (see 
49.601). The notice of termination may be expedited by means of 
electronic communication capable of providing confirmation of receipt 
by the contractor. When the notice is mailed, it shall be sent by 
certified mail, return receipt requested. When the contracting office 
arranges for hand delivery of the notice, a written acknowledgment 
shall be obtained from the contractor. The notice shall state--
* * * * *

0
18. Amend section 49.601-1 by--
0
a. Revising the section heading;
0
b. Adding introductory text;
0
c. Removing from paragraph (a) ``telegraphic'', ``[insert 
``immediately'''', and ``Telegraph'', and adding ``electronic'', 
``[insert ``immediately, (today's date)'''', and ``Provide by 
electronic means'' in their places, respectively; and
0
d. Removing from paragraph (b) ``telegraphic'', ``[insert 
``immediately'''', and ``Telegraph'', and adding ``electronic'', 
``[insert ``immediately, (today's date)'''', and ``Provide by 
electronic means'' in their places, respectively.
    The revision and addition reads as follows:


49.601-1   Electronic notice.

    The contracting officer may provide expedited notice of termination 
by electronic means that includes a requirement for the contractor to 
confirm receipt. If the contractor does not confirm receipt promptly, 
the contracting officer shall resend the notice electronically, and 
expedite the letter notice described in 49.601-2. If confirmation of 
the electronic notice is received, and the electronic notice includes 
all content in 49.601-2, the contracting officer need not send the 
letter notice described in 49.601-2.
* * * * *

0
19. Amend section 49.601-2 by--
0
 a. Revising the third and fourth sentences of the introductory text;
0
b. Removing from paragraph (a), ``telegram'' and adding ``electronic 
notice'' in its places (two times); and
0
 c. Revising the introductory text of the Alternate notice.
    The revisions read as follows:


49.601-2  Letter notice.

    * * * This notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt 
requested, or electronically, provided evidence of receipt is received 
by the contracting officer. If no prior electronic notice was issued, 
or if no confirmation of an electronic notice was received, use the 
alternate notice that follows this notice.
* * * * *
    Alternate notice. Substitute the following paragraph (a) for 
paragraph (a) of 49.601-2, Notice of Termination to Prime Contractors, 
if no prior electronic notice was issued, or if no confirmation of an 
electronic notice was received:
* * * * *

PART 52--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

0
 20. Amend section 52.214-3 by revising the date of the provision and 
paragraph (b) to read as follows:


52.214-3   Amendments to Invitations for Bids.

* * * * *

Amendments to Invitations for Bids DEC 2016

* * * * *
    (b)(1) Bidders shall acknowledge receipt of any amendment to 
this solicitation--
    (i) By signing and returning the amendment;
    (ii) By identifying the amendment number and date in space 
provided for this purpose on the form for submitting a bid;
    (iii) By letter;
    (iv) By facsimile, if facsimile bids are authorized in the 
solicitation; or
    (v) By email, if email bids are authorized in the solicitation.
    (2) The Government must receive the acknowledgement by the time 
and at the place specified for receipt of bids.

0
21. Amend section 52.214-5 by--
0
 a. Revising the date of the provision;
0
 b. Removing paragraph (c); and

[[Page 83100]]

0
 c. Redesignating paragraphs (d) and (e), as paragraphs (c) and (d), 
respectively.
    The revision reads as follows:


52.214-5  Submission of Bids.

* * * * *

Submission of Bids Dec 2016

* * * * *


52.214-13  [Removed and Reserved]

0
22. Remove and reserve section 52.214-13.

PART 53--FORMS


53.213  [Amended]

0
23. Amend section 53.213 by removing from paragraph (b) ``(10/83)'' and 
adding ``(11/2016)'' in its place.


53.215-1  [Amended]

0
24. Amend section 53.215-1 by removing from paragraph (b) ``(10/83)'' 
and adding ``(11/2016)'' in its place.


53.243  [Amended]

0
25. Amend section 53.243, introductory text, by removing ``(10/83)'' 
and adding ``(11/2016)'' in its place.

0
26. Revise 53.301-30 to read as follows:


53.301-30  SF 30, Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract.

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[FR Doc. 2016-27684 Filed 11-17-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-EP-C