[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 220 (Wednesday, November 14, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56739-56740]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-24755]



48 CFR Part 509

[GSAR Change 96; GSAR Case 2017-G503; Docket No. 2018-0012; Sequence 
No. 1]
RIN 3090-AJ87

General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; Removing 
Duplicative Responsibility Determination Guidance

AGENCY: Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services Administration 

ACTION: Direct final rule.


SUMMARY: GSA is amending the General Services Administration 
Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to remove duplicative text already 
contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

DATES: Effective date: This rule is effective January 14, 2019 unless 
GSA receives adverse comments during the comment period. If GSA 
receives adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the 
Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take 
    Comment date: Comments are due December 14, 2018 by any of the 
methods listed in the Addresses section of this rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in response to GSAR Case 2017-G503 by any of 
the following methods:
     Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for ``GSAR 
Case 2017-G503''. Select the link ``Comment Now'' that corresponds with 
``GSAR Case 2017-G503.'' Follow the instructions provided on the 
screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and ``GSAR 
Case 2017-G503'' on your attached document.
     Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory 
Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Lois Mandell, 1800 F Street NW, 2nd 
floor, Washington, DC 20405.
    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite ``GSAR Case 
2017-G503'' in all correspondence related to this case. All comments 
received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal and/or business confidential information 
provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check https://www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission 
to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments 
submitted by mail).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Johnnie McDowell, Procurement 
Analyst, at 202-718-6112 or [email protected], for clarification 
of content. For information pertaining to status or publication 
schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202-501-4755. 
Please cite GSAR Case 2017-G503.


I. Background

    FAR 1.304(b) states that agency regulations shall not 
``unnecessarily repeat, paraphrase, or otherwise restate material 
contained in the FAR.'' Here, both GSAR 509.105-1(b) and FAR 9.105(b) 
provide guidance to obtaining information from Government sources for a 
responsibility determination of potential Government contractors.

II. Discussion and Analysis

    Both GSAR 509.105-1(b) and FAR 9.105-1(b) pertain to how 
contracting officers obtain information regarding a contractor's 
responsibility. GSAR 509.105-1(b) states ``[t]he contracting officer 
may solicit and consider information from any appropriate 
activities[.]'' FAR 9.105-1(b) states ``[g]enerally, the contracting 
officer shall obtain information regarding the responsibility of 
prospective contractors, including requesting pre-award surveys when 
necessary (see 9.106) promptly after bid opening or receipt of offers . 
. .'' GSAR 509.105-1(b) simply paraphrases FAR 9.105-1(b) as it 
restates that a contracting officer should obtain information regarding 
a contractor's responsibility through ``any appropriate activities'' 
which is implied through FAR 9.105-1(b)'s language. Further, FAR 9.105 
includes that standards and procedures for requesting and obtaining 
information sufficient to determine the responsibility of a

[[Page 56740]]

prospective contractor, i.e., that an offeror meets the standards at 
FAR 9.104. Therefore, GSAR 509.105-1(b) will be removed from the GSAR 
because it violates FAR 1.304(b) by unnecessarily paraphrasing FAR 

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. Executive Order 13771

    This final rule is not subject to E.O. 13771, because this rule is 
not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will not 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 rule 
merely removes unnecessarily duplicative regulatory language. The rule 
imposes no new reporting, recordkeeping, or other information 
collection requirements. Therefore, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
has not been performed.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This 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 Part 509

    Government procurement.

    Dated: November 7, 2018.
Jeffrey A. Koses,
Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of 
Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration.

    Therefore, GSA is amending 48 CFR part 509 as set forth below:


1. The authority citation for part 509 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  40 U.S.C. 121(c).

2. Revise section 509.105-1 to read as follows:

509.105-1   Obtaining information.

    FAR 9.105-1 lists a number of sources of information that a 
contracting officer may utilize before making a determination of 
responsibility. The contracting officer may request information 
directly from a prospective contractor using GSA Form 527, Contractor's 
Qualifications and Financial Information, but only after exhausting 
other available sources of information.

[FR Doc. 2018-24755 Filed 11-13-18; 8:45 am]