[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 111 (Tuesday, June 9, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 35238-35240]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-11606]



48 CFR Part 825

RIN 2900-AQ79

VA Acquisition Regulation: Foreign Acquisition

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend 
and update its VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) in phased increments to 
revise or remove any policy superseded by changes in the Federal 
Acquisition Regulation (FAR), to remove any procedural guidance 
internal to VA into the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM), and to 
incorporate any new agency specific regulations or policies. These 
changes seek to streamline and align the VAAR with the FAR and remove 
outdated and duplicative requirements and reduce burden on contractors. 
The VAAM incorporates portions of the removed VAAR as well as other 
internal agency acquisition policy. VA will rewrite certain parts of 
the VAAR and VAAM, and as VAAR parts are rewritten, will publish them 
in the Federal Register. VA will combine related topics, as 
appropriate. This rulemaking removes VAAR coverage concerning Foreign 

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 10, 2020 to be 
considered in the formulation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through 
www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Office of 
Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420; or by 
fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted 
in response to ``RIN 2900-AQ79--VA Acquisition Regulation: Foreign 
Acquisition.'' Copies of comments received will be available for public 
inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 
1064, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an 
appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the

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comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal 
Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Bogdan Vaga, Senior Procurement 
Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services, 003A2A, 
425 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 382-2667. (This is not a 
toll-free number.)



    This rulemaking is issued under the authority of the Office of 
Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) Act which provides the authority for 
an agency head to issue agency acquisition regulations that implement 
or supplement the FAR.
    VA is proposing to revise the VAAR to add new policy or regulatory 
requirements and to remove any redundant guidance and guidance that is 
applicable only to VA's internal operating processes or procedures. 
Codified acquisition regulations may be amended and revised only 
through rulemaking. All amendments, revisions and removals have been 
reviewed and concurred with by VA's Integrated Product Team of agency 
    The VAAR uses the regulatory structure and arrangement of the FAR 
and headings and subject areas are consistent with FAR content. The 
VAAR is divided into subchapters, parts (each of which covers a 
separate aspect of acquisition), subparts, and sections.
    The Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act, as codified in 41 
U.S.C. 1707, provides the authority for the Federal Acquisition 
Regulation and for the issuance of agency acquisition regulations 
consistent with the FAR.
    When Federal agencies acquire supplies and services using 
appropriated funds, the purchase is governed by the FAR, set forth at 
Title 48 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), chapter 1, parts 1 through 
53, and the agency regulations that implement and supplement the FAR. 
The VAAR is set forth at Title 48 CFR, chapter 8, parts 801 to 873.

Discussion and Analysis

    VA proposes to make the following changes to the VAAR in this phase 
of its revision and streamlining initiative. For procedural guidance 
cited below that is proposed to be deleted from the VAAR, each section 
cited for removal has been considered for inclusion in VA's internal 
agency operating procedures in accordance with FAR 1.301(a)(2). 
Similarly, delegations of authority that are removed from the VAAR will 
be included in the VAAM as internal departmental guidance. The VAAM is 
being created in parallel with these revisions to the VAAR and is not 
subject to the rulemaking process as they are internal VA procedures 
and guidance. The VAAM will not be finalized until corresponding VAAR 
parts are finalized, and therefore the VAAM is not yet available on 

VAAR Part 825--Foreign Acquisition

    We propose to remove and reserve VAAR Part 825 as much of the 
information it contains is internal and procedural in nature. Subpart 
825.1, Buy American Act-Supplies, is proposed to be removed and 
reserved. Under this subpart, Section 825.103, Exceptions, will be 
removed and moved to the VAAM as the information included is internal 
and procedural in nature. Section 825.104, Nonavailable articles, is 
proposed for removal as the items listed on the nonavailable list are 
now available from domestic sources. Subpart 825.2 was previously 
removed and reserved as a part of Final Rule AQ18.
    We propose to remove and reserve subpart 825.6, Trade Sanctions. 
Under this subpart, section 825.602, Exceptions, is proposed for 
removal as this information is no longer relevant. The corresponding 
FAR subpart, 25.6 is entitled, ``American Recovery and Reinvestment 
Act--Buy American Statute--Construction Materials.'' The VAAR subpart 
and section predate the Recovery Act and therefore have been removed as 
it does not serve to implement or supplement the current FAR coverage 
at the corresponding FAR subpart.
    Under this regulatory action, we propose to remove and reserve 
subpart 825.8, Other International Agreements and Coordination. Under 
this subpart, section 825.870, Technical assistance, will be removed 
and moved to the VAAM as it provides procedural guidance to VA's 
contracting officers regarding whom to contact if they have questions 
regarding international contracts.
    We propose to remove and reserve subpart 825.9, Customs and Duties. 
Under this subpart, section 825.902-70, Technical assistance, is 
proposed for removal. This section is being removed as it provides 
outdated procedural guidance directing contracting officers to contact 
the US Customs and Border Protection for technical assistance for 
clearing items through customs.
    This proposed rule would remove and reserve subpart 825.10, 
Additional Foreign Acquisition Regulations. Under this subpart, section 
825.1001, Waiver of right to examination of records, will be removed 
and moved to the VAAM as it provides procedural guidance and assigns 
responsibility for preparing and submitted D&Fs as required in FAR 
    This proposed rule also removes and reserves subpart 825.11, 
Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses. Under this subpart, 
section 825.1102 was previously removed and reserved under Final Rule 

Effect of Rulemaking

    Title 48, Federal Acquisition Regulations System, Chapter 8, 
Department of Veterans Affairs, of the Code of Federal Regulations, as 
proposed to be revised by this rulemaking, would represent VA's 
implementation of its legal authority and publication of the Department 
of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) for the cited 
applicable parts. Other than future amendments to this rule or 
governing statutes for the cited applicable parts, or as otherwise 
authorized by approved deviations or waivers in accordance with Federal 
Acquisition Regulation (FAR) subpart 1.4, Deviations from the FAR, and 
as implemented by VAAR subpart 801.4, Deviations from the FAR or VAAR, 
no contrary guidance or procedures would be authorized. All existing or 
subsequent VA guidance would be read to conform with the rulemaking if 
possible or, if not possible, such guidance would be superseded by this 
rulemaking as pertains to the cited applicable VAAR parts.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771

    Executive Orders (EOs) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). E.O. 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) 
emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. The 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this 
rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 
    VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at 
http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the 
rulemaking document is

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published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact 
analysis are available on VA's website at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by 
following the link for ``VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through 
Fiscal Year to Date.''
    This proposed rule is not expected to be an E.O. 13771 regulatory 
action because this proposed rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no provisions constituting a collection 
of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601-612). This rulemaking does not change VA's policy regarding 
small businesses, does not have an economic impact to individual 
businesses, and there are no increased or decreased costs to small 
business entities. On this basis, the proposed rule would not have an 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are 
defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. Therefore, 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the initial and final regulatory 
flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 do not apply.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal Governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule will have no such effect 
on State, local, and tribal Governments or on the private sector.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 825

    Customs duties and inspection, Foreign currencies, Foreign trade, 
Government procurement.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Pamela 
Powers, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this 
document on January 24, 2020, for publication.

Consuela Benjamin,
Regulation Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & 
Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

Accordingly, under the authority of 40 U.S.C. 121(c), 41 U.S.C. 1702; 
and 48 CFR 1.301-1.304 VA proposes to amend 48 CFR by removing and 
reserving part 825.

[FR Doc. 2020-11606 Filed 6-8-20; 8:45 am]