[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 116 (Tuesday, June 16, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36348-36350]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-11608]



48 CFR Parts 804, 805, 849, and 852

RIN 2900-AQ77

VA Acquisition Regulation: Administrative and Information 
Matters; Publicizing Contract Actions; and Termination of Contracts

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending and 
updating 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revise or remove any policy superseded by changes in the Federal 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 procedural guidance internal to 
VA into the VAAM, and to incorporate any new agency specific 
regulations or policies. These changes seek to 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FAR and remove outdated and duplicative requirements and reduce burden 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. In particular, this 
rulemaking revises VAAR coverage concerning Administrative and 
Information Matters, Publicizing Contract Actions, and Termination of 
Contracts, as well as an affected part concerning Solicitation 
Provisions and Contract Clauses.

DATES: This rule is effective on July 16, 2020.

Procurement Analyst, Procurement Policy and Warrant Management 
Services, 003A2A, 425 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 382-
2787. (This is not a toll-free number.)



    On February 13, 2020, VA published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register (85 FR 8242) which announced VA's intent to amend regulations 
for VAAR Case RIN 2900-AQ77 (parts 804, 805, 849, and 852). VA provided 
a 60-day comment period for the public to respond to the proposed rule 
and submit comments. The comment period for the proposed rule ended on 
April 13, 2020 and VA received no comments. This rule adopts as a final 
rule, without changes, the proposed rule published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2020.

Technical Non-Substantive Changes to the Proposed Rule

    This rule makes one non-substantive change to the proposed rule to 
ensure compliance with the FAR. A recent update in 84 FR 40220, dated 
Aug. 13, 2019, revised the FAR part 4 heading from ``Administrative 
Matters'' to ``Administrative and Information Matters.'' This final 
rule includes this technical non-substantive change to the heading 
under 804 to ``Administrative and Information Matters.''

Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 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 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 final rule is not subject to the requirements of E.O. 13771 
because this rule is not significant under E.O. 12866.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will 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 final rule would not have an economic 
impact on

[[Page 36349]]

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), this rulemaking is exempt from 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 final rule would have no such effect 
on State, local, and tribal governments or on the private sector.

Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this rule 
as not a major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects

48 CFR Parts 804, 805, and 849

    Government procurement.

48 CFR Part 852

    Government procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

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, Acting Deputy Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs, 
approved this document on May 3, 2020, for publication.

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

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA amends 48 CFR parts 
804, 805, 849, and 852 as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 804 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301 
through 1.304.

2. Revise the heading for part 804 to read as set forth above.

Subpart 804.1--[Removed and Reserved]

3. Subpart 804.1, consisting of sections 804.101 and 804.1102, is 
removed and reserved.

4. Subpart 804.13 is added to read as follows:

Subpart 804.13--Personal Identity Verification

804.1303   Contract clause.

    The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 852.204-70, 
Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel, in 
solicitations and contracts that require contractor employees to have 
routine access to a VA facility or to VA information systems. This 
clause is used in conjunction with FAR clause 52.204-9, Personal 
Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel.

PART 805--[Removed and Reserved]

5. Part 805, consisting of sections 805.202, 805.205, and 805.207, is 
removed and reserved under the authority of 40 U.S.C. 121(c) and 48 CFR 
1.301 through 1.304.


6. The authority citation for part 849 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority:  40 U.S.C. 121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 CFR 1.301 
through 1.304.

Subpart 849.1--[Removed and Reserved]

7. Subpart 849.1, consisting of sections 849.101, 849.106, 849.111, 
849.111-70, and 849.111-71, is removed and reserved.

8. Subpart 849.5 is revised to read as follows:

Subpart 849.5--Contract Termination Clauses

849.504   Termination of fixed-price contracts for default.

849.504-70   Termination of mortuary services.

    Use the clause at 852.249-70, Termination for Default--Supplement 
for Mortuary Services, in all solicitations and contracts for mortuary 
services containing the FAR clause 52.249-8, Default (Fixed-Price 
Supply and Service).


9. The authority citation for part 852 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  38 U.S.C. 8127-8128, and 8151-8153; 40 U.S.C. 
121(c); 41 U.S.C. 1121(c)(3), 41 U.S.C. 1303; 41 U.S.C. 1702; and 48 
CFR 1.301 through 1.304.

Subpart 852.2--Text of Provisions and Clauses

10. Section 852.204-70 is added to read as follows:

852.204-70   Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel.

    As prescribed in 804.1303, insert the following clause:


    (a) The Contractor shall comply with current Department of 
Veterans Affairs policy for personal identity verification of all 
employees performing under this contract when frequent and 
continuing access to VA facilities or information systems is 
    (b) The Contractor shall insert this clause in all subcontracts 
when the subcontractor's employees will require frequent and 
continuing access to VA facilities or information systems.

(End of clause)

11. Section 852.249-70 is revised to read as follows:

852.249-70   Termination for Default--Supplement for Mortuary Services.

    As prescribed in 849.504-70, insert the following clause:


    The FAR clause entitled Default (Fixed-Price Supply and 
Service), at 52.249-8, is supplemented as follows:
    The Contracting Officer may terminate this contract for default 
by written notice without the ten-day notice required by paragraph 
(a)(2) of the Default clause if--
    (a) The Contractor, through circumstances reasonably within its 
control or that of its employees, performs any act under or in 
connection with this contract, or fails in the performance of any 
service under this contract and the act or failures may reasonably 
be considered to reflect discredit upon the Department of Veteran 
Affairs in fulfilling its responsibility for proper care of remains;
    (b) The Contractor, or its employees, solicits relatives or 
friends of the deceased to purchase supplies or services not under 
this contract. (The Contractor may furnish supplies or arrange for 
services not under this contract, only if representatives of the 
deceased voluntarily request, select, and pay for them.);

[[Page 36350]]

    (c) The services or any part of the services are performed by 
anyone other than the Contractor or the Contractor's employees 
without the written authorization of the Contracting Officer;
    (d) The Contractor refuses to perform the services required for 
any particular remains; or
    (e) The Contractor mentions or otherwise uses this contract in 
its advertising in any way.

(End of clause)

[FR Doc. 2020-11608 Filed 6-15-20; 8:45 am]