FAR Council Publishes Semiannual Regulatory Agenda, Includes Items for Small Business
Today, the Department of Defense ("DoD"), General Services Administration ("GSA"), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ("NASA") (together, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council), published its Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The regulatory agenda provides summary descriptions of regulations that are being developed by the FAR Council in compliance with Executive Order 12866 and includes items in the proposed rule stage, final rule stage, and completed items.
For example, in the "Proposed Rule Stage," the agenda provides (among others):
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2017–016, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2020–005, Explanations to Unsuccessful Offerors on Certain Orders Under Task and Delivery Order Contracts
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2019–007, Update of Historically Underutilized Business Zone Program.
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2020–013, Certification of Women-Owned Small Businesses
And, in the "Final Rule Stage," the agenda also provides (among others):
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2016–011, Revision of Limitations on Subcontracting
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2019–004, Good Faith in Small Business Subcontracting.
Federal Regulation Acquisition (FAR); FAR Case 2017–019, Policy on Joint Ventures
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); FAR Case 2019–003, Substantial Bundling and Consolidation
Notably, under an upcoming proposed rule related to CUI requirements in civilian procurements, the abstract to FAR Case 2017–016, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) provides:
Abstract: DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) program of Executive Order 13556 of November 4, 2010. As the executive agent designated to oversee the Governmentwide CUI program, NARA issued implementing regulations in late 2016 designed to address Federal agency policies for designating, safeguarding, disseminating, marking, decontrolling, and disposing of CUI. The NARA rule, which is codified at 32 CFR 2002, affects contractors that handle, possess, use, share, or receive CUI. This FAR rule helps to ensure uniform implementation of the requirements of the CUI program in contracts across Government agencies.
In addition, for small businesses dealing with both the FAR and SBA limitation on subcontracting regulations, the abstract to FAR Case 2016–011, Revision of Limitations on Subcontracting provides:
Abstract: DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to revise and standardize the limitations on subcontracting, including the nonmanufacturer rule, that apply to small business concerns under FAR part 19 procurements. This rule incorporates the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) final rule that implemented the statutory requirements of section 1651 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2013. This action is necessary to meet the Congressional intent of clarifying the limitations on subcontracting with which small businesses must comply, as well as the ways in which they can comply. The rule will benefit both small businesses and Federal agencies. The rule will allow small businesses to take advantage of subcontracts with similarly situated entities. As a result, these small businesses will be able to compete for larger contracts, which would positively affect their potential for growth as well as that of their potential subcontractors.
The Semiannual Regulatory Agenda is a great way for contractors and industry to keep current on upcoming changes to the FAR. Indeed, contractors and others that want to provide comments to proposed rules should keep an eye out for upcoming publication dates so that your concerns may be considered during the rulemaking process.
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