[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 144 (Thursday, July 26, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 44064-44065]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17738]





48 CFR Part 53

[FAC 2005-60; FAR Case 2011-022; Item V; Docket 2011-0093, Sequence IV]
RIN 9000-AM15

Federal Acquisition Regulation: Clarification of Standards for 
Computer Generation of Forms

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

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule amending the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to remove any reference to Federal 
Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 161 and codify requirements for 
standards already in use.

DATES: Effective Date: August 27, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Deborah Lague, Procurement 
Analyst, at 202-694-8149 for clarification of content. For information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory 
Secretariat at 202-501-4755. Please cite FAC 2005-60, FAR Case 2011-


I. Background

    DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule in the Federal 
Register at 76 FR 79609 on December 22, 2011, to implement the removal 
of FIPS 161. FIPS 161 is being removed based on the notice posted in 
the Federal Register at 73 FR 51276 on September 2, 2008, by the 
Department of Commerce. This FIPS requirement was withdrawn by the 
Secretary of Commerce because it was obsolete and had not been updated 
to adopt current voluntary industry standards, Federal specifications, 
Federal data standards, or current good practices for information 
security. The withdrawal of this standard created a

[[Page 44065]]

gap in the FAR. This final rule closes that gap by clarifying the use 
of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) X12 as the valid 
standard to use for computer-generated forms. FAR 53.105 is being 
amended; it will continue allowing agencies and the public to generate 
standard and optional forms on their computers.

II. Discussion and Analysis

    There were no public comments received in response to the proposed 
rule; therefore, this rule is published as a final rule.

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. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration certify that this final 
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 it is removing FIPS 161 
which is obsolete or has not been updated to adopt current voluntary 
industry standards, Federal specifications, Federal data standards, or 
current good practices for information security. This is a technical 
change acknowledging the removal by the Department of Commerce of FIPS 
161 and replacement with the ANSI X12 set of standards. ANSI X12 
standards were already a part of the FIPS 161 standard and have been 
updated with current voluntary industry standards already in use. 
Therefore, there is no impact to the Government or contractors in 
establishing ANSI X12 as the new standard. Small businesses will 
continue to be able to generate forms by computer.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The 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 53

    Government procurement.

    Dated: July 16, 2012.
Laura Auletta,
Director, Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy, Office of 
Acquisition Policy, Office of Governmentwide Policy.

    Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA amend 48 CFR part 53 as follows:


1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 53 is revised to read as 

    Authority:  40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 
U.S.C. 20113.

2. Revise section 53.105 to read as follows:

53.105   Computer generation.

    (a) The forms prescribed by this part may be computer generated--
without exception approval (see 53.103), provided--
    (1) There is no change to the name, content, or sequence of the 
data elements, and the form carries the Standard or Optional Form 
number and edition date (see 53.111); or
    (2) The form is in an electronic format covered by the American 
National Standards Institute (ANSI) X12 Standards published by the 
Accredited Standards Committee X12 on Electronic Data Interchange or a 
format that can be translated into one of those standards.
    (b) The standards listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section may 
also be used for submission of data set forth in other parts for which 
specific forms have not been prescribed.

[FR Doc. 2012-17738 Filed 7-25-12; 8:45 am]