Four FAC 2005-66 Rules Amend the FAR

The Civilian Agency Acquisition and Defense Acquisition Regulations Councils have issued Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-66, which contains one interim and three final rules amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The rules are: Item I—Definition of Contingency Operation (FAR Case 2013-003, Interim); Item II—Changes to Time-and-Materials and Labor-Hour Contracts and Orders (FAR Case 2011-025); and Item III—Extension of Authority for Use of Simplified Acquisition Procedures for Certain Commercial Items (FAR Case 2013-007). Item IV makes technical amendments at FAR 5.601, FAR 7.105, FAR 10.002, and FAR 52.229-7. This FAC also contains a Small Entity Compliance Guide, which indicates a regulatory flexibility analysis was prepared for Items I and II. A full listing of the regulations impacted by the rules, along with the effective date for each rule, appears in the FAC regulation table below. For the text of FAC 2005-66, see ¶70,002.157.

Contingency Operation

The FAR Case 2013-003 interim rule amends the FAR to revise the definition of “contingency operation” in accordance with the statutory change to the definition made by Section 515(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (PL 112-81). This interim rule adds a reference to 10 USC 12304a (from Section 515 of the NDAA FY 2012) to the list of references in section (b)(2) of the definition of “contingency operation” in FAR 2.101. Comments on this interim rule, identified by the FAC number and the rule’s FAR Case number, are due April 29, 2013.

T&M and LH Contracts

The final rule in FAR Case 2011-025 amends the FAR to provide additional guidance when raising the ceiling price or otherwise changing the scope of work for a time-and-materials or labor-hour contract or order. The rule provides guidance to contracting officers to address this issue for the respective areas of the FAR addressing T&M and LH procurements. Guidance is added at FAR 8.404, Use of Federal Supply Schedules; FAR 12.207, Contract type; and FAR 16.601, Time-and-materials contracts. Corresponding changes to FAR references are made at FAR 16.504 and FAR 16.505, and to the clauses at FAR 52.216-29 through FAR 52.216-31. This rule deals with the administration of T&M and LH contracts and orders and will have no direct effect on contractors. The final rule was published without change from the proposed rule ( ¶70,006.268).

Simplified Acquisitions

The FAR Case 2013-007 final rule amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation to implement Section 822 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. Section 822 extends the Commercial Item Test Program at FAR Subpart 13.5, which authorizes, as a test program, the use of simplified procedures for the acquisition of certain commercial items in amounts greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, but not exceeding $6.5 million ($12 million for acquisitions described in FAR 13.500 (e)), including options, if the contracting officer can reasonably expect that offers will include only commercial items. This final rule extends the sunset date of the authority at FAR 13.500 (d) from January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2015.