[Federal Register: May 22, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 99)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 28094-28095]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]





48 CFR Part 8

[FAC 2001-14; FAR Case 2003-001; Item V]
RIN 9000-AJ62

Federal Acquisition Regulation; Increased Federal Prison 
Industries, Inc. Waiver Threshold

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

ACTION: Interim rule with request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense 
Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have agreed on an interim 
rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to increase the 
blanket waiver threshold for small dollar value purchases from Federal 
Prison Industries (FPI) by Federal agencies. By increasing this 
threshold to $2,500, Federal agencies will not be required to make 
purchases from FPI of products on FPI's Schedule that are at or below 
this threshold. Federal agencies, however, may continue to consider and 
purchase products from FPI that are at or below $2,500.

DATES: Effective Date: May 22, 2003.
    Comment Date: Interested parties should submit comments to the FAR 
Secretariat at the address shown below on or before June 23, 2003 to be 
considered in the formulation of a final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to--General Services Administration, 
FAR Secretariat (MVA), 1800 F Street, NW., Room 4035, Attn: Ms. Laurie 
Duarte, Washington, DC 20405.
    Submit electronic comments via the Internet to--farcase.2003-
001@gsa.gov. Please submit comments only and cite FAC 2001-14, FAR case 
2003-001, in all correspondence related to this case.

Building, Washington, DC 20405, (202) 501-4755, for information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules. For clarification of 
content, contact Ms. Linda Nelson, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-
1900. Please cite FAC 2001-14, FAR case 2003-001.


[[Page 28095]]

A. Background

    The Federal Prison Industries (FPI) Board of Directors recently 
adopted a resolution increasing the blanket waiver threshold for small 
dollar-value purchases from Federal Prison Industries by Federal 
agencies. The resolution adopted by the FPI Board increases the FPI 
clearance exception threshold at 8.606(e) from $25 to $2,500 and 
eliminates the criterion that delivery is required within 10 days. The 
objective of the rule is to increase the dollar threshold necessary to 
obtain a clearance from FPI. By increasing this threshold to $2,500, 
Federal agencies will not be required to make purchases from FPI of 
products on FPI's Schedule that are at or below this threshold. Federal 
agencies, however, may continue to consider and purchase products from 
FPI that are at or below $2,500. FPI is a mandatory acquisition program 
established under 18 U.S.C. 4124. Agencies would still be required to 
purchase products on FPI's Schedule from FPI above the $2,500 threshold 
unless a clearance is obtained pursuant to FAR 8.605.
    This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 
subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is 
not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule. This 
interim rule does not constitute a significant FAR revision within the 
meaning of FAR 1.501 and Public Law 98-577, and publication for public 
comments is not required. However, the Councils will consider comments 
from small entities concerning the affected FAR part 8, in accordance 
with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments 
separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., (FAC 2001-14, FAR 
case 2003-001), in correspondence.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to 
the FAR do not impose information collection requirements that require 
the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 
3501, et seq.

D. Determination To Issue an Interim Rule

    There is no requirement to publish this rule for public comment, as 
it is not a significant FAR revision. This rule only covers very-small-
dollar supply purchases now being made from Federal Prison Industries, 
part of the Department of Justice, another Federal executive agency. 
FPI will continue to be a source, but optional rather than mandatory, 
for these very-small-dollar purchases. This change does not originate 
from the FAR regulation, but is only an update to show a change in 
policy made by the Federal Prison Industries itself. No public comments 
are required under 41 U.S.C. 418b(a), and under (a) and (d) therefore 
no determination either for compelling circumstances, or for urgent and 
compelling circumstances needs to be made in order for the case to go 
into effect immediately. Even though not required to do so, the 
Councils would, nevertheless, like to obtain public comments. No 
determination of urgent and compelling circumstances is necessary under 
the statute to obtain optional public comments.
    However, pursuant to Public Law 98-577 and FAR 1.501, the Councils 
will consider public comments received in response to this interim rule 
in the formation of the final rule.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 8

    Government procurement.

    Dated: May 13, 2003.
Laura G. Smith,
Director, Acquisition Policy Division.

Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend 48 CFR part 8 as set forth below:


1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 8 is revised to read as 

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 42 
U.S.C. 2473(c).

2. Amend section 8.606 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:

8.606  Exceptions.

* * * * *
    (e) Orders are for listed items totaling $2,500 or less.

[FR Doc. 03-12305 Filed 5-21-03; 8:45 am]