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FAR Councils Issue FAC 2005-33

The Civilian Agency Acquisition and Defense Acquisition Regulations Councils have published Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-33, which contains one interim and one final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The rules are entitled Trade Agreements --Costa Rica, Oman, and Peru (FAR Case 2008-036; Interim), and Contractor's Requests for Progress Payments (FAR Case 2005-032). This FAC also contains a Small Entity Compliance Guide, which indicates no corresponding regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared for either rule. For the text of FAC 2005-33, see 70,002.110.
New Trade Agreements

The interim rule associated with FAR Case 2008-036 amends the FAR to implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement with respect to Costa Rica, the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement, and the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. Congress approved these trade agreements in Public Laws 109-53, 109-283, and 110-138, respectively. These statutes waive the applicability of the Buy American Act for some foreign supplies and construction materials from Costa Rica, Oman, and Peru, and specify procurement procedures designed to ensure fairness in the acquisition of supplies and services. This rule allows contracting officers to purchase goods and services from these three countries without application of the Buy American Act if the acquisition is subject to the applicable trade agreement. The threshold for supplies and services is $67,826 for the CAFTA-DR and $194,000 for the Oman and Peru FTAs. The threshold for construction is $7,443,000 for the CAFTA-DR and the Peru FTA, and $8,817,449 for the Oman FTA. This interim rule amends FAR Part 25 and the corresponding clauses in FAR Part 52 to implement these agreements. Specifically, the rule amends the definitions of "Caribbean Basin country," "Designated country," and "Free Trade Agreement country" in FAR 25.003. Other amended regulations include FAR 25.400, which describes the scope of FAR Subpart 25.4, FAR 25.401, which identifies the types of acquisitions that do not fall under FAR Subpart 25.4, and the general provision at FAR 25.402, which sets forth the various thresholds applicable to the trade agreements. The rule also makes corresponding changes to the following contract clauses: FAR 52.212-3, FAR 52.212-5, FAR 52.225-3 through FAR 52.225-5, FAR 52.225-11, and FAR 52.225-12. Comments on this interim rule, identified by its FAR Case number, are due August 14, 2009. The rule carries a June 15, 2009, effective date.
Progress Payments

The FAR Case 2005-032 final rule adopts, with several editorial changes, a proposed rule (70,006.222) amending the FAR to incorporate improvements related to requests for progress payments. Generally, this final rule addresses revisions to the paid cost rule, simplifies the form that contractors use to request progress payments, and amends related regulations and instructions to improve clarity. Specifically, the rule amends FAR 32.001 by adding the definition of "Liquidate," FAR 32.501-3 relating to contract pricing, and FAR 32.503-6 pertaining to suspension and reduction of payments. An editorial change is made at FAR 43.102. Revised FAR 52.232-16 contains the updated contract clause relating to progress payments. The rule also updates FAR 53.301-1443, which contains Standard Form 1443, Contractor's Request for Progress Payments. A technical change is made to FAR 53.232 to incorporate a new date for the revised form and to delete the reference to FAR 32.503-1, which the rule has removed and reserved. This final rule goes into effect on July 15, 2009.


(The news featured above is a selection from the news covered in the Government Contracts Report Letter, which is published weekly and distributed to subscribers of the Government Contracts Reporter. )


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