[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 229 (Wednesday, November 30, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-28111]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: November 30, 1994]


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

41 CFR Parts 201-3, 201-4, 201-9, 201-18, 201-20, 201-21, 201-23, 
201-24, and 201-39

[FIRMR Amdt. 2]
RIN 3090-AE75

 

Amendment of Miscellaneous FIRMR Provisions

AGENCY: Information Resources Management Service, GSA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document amends Federal Information Resources Management 
Regulation (FIRMR) provisions with regard to: updating General Services 
Administration (GSA) offices and symbols; changing the definition of 
``performance validation''; providing GSA advance notice of agency 
offices authorized to submit agency procurement requests; clarifying 
delegation of procurement authority (DPA) requirements for using GSA's 
Information Resources Management Service (IRMS) contracts programs and 
services; clarifying provisions regarding DPAs, including acquisitions 
when an agency uses the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) 8(a) 
Program for Federal information processing (FIP) resources; changing 
procedures for obtaining exceptions to the use of FTS2000 and 
clarifying that determinations regarding whether the FTS2000 network 
will be used in an acquisition is subject to GSA approval; and changing 
the Purchase of Telecommunications Services (POTS) Program from a 
mandatory-for-use program to a nonmandatory program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule is effective December 30, 1994.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Anne Horth, GSA/KMR at (202) 501-0960 (v) or (202) 501-0657 (tdd).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: (1) Notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRs) 
were published in the Federal Register (FR) on September 21 and 
December 7, 1993 proposing various amendments to several sections of 
the FIRMR. The September 21 FR notice contained proposed amendments 
regarding acquisitions to be issued through SBA's 8(a) Program and 
regarding procedures when using GSA's nonmandatory schedule contracts. 
The December 7 FR notice contained other miscellaneous changes as noted 
in the Summary above, including provisions regarding the use by one 
agency of another agency's contracts for FIP resources. Changes in the 
December 7 FR notice regarding nonmandatory schedules, the Federal IRM 
Review Program, and the use of other agency contracts (except for 
contracts and services provided by GSA/IRMS) will be covered in a 
separate amendment. To expedite issuance, all other amendments are 
combined in this final rule
    (2) All comments were considered and, where possible, incorporated 
into the final rule. While most of the comments were resolved in the 
final amendment, a few comments could not be fully accommodated. Also, 
in an effort to keep regulations to a minimum, where a subject is 
already covered, additional provisions will not be included. Major 
comments that will not be reflected in the amendment are addressed 
below.
    (a) Requests were made for explanations as to when justifications 
for specific make and model and for other than full and open 
competition are required for 8(a) contracts. FIRMR Sec. 201-39.601 
already requires a justification for specific make and model that 
applies to all acquisitions, including 8(a) acquisitions. The Federal 
Acquisition Regulation (FAR) contains rules governing documentation for 
SBA's 8(a) Program contracts. Additional FIRMR provisions are not 
required, but this does not preclude GSA from asking for supporting 
documentation in specific cases when SBA's 8(a) Program is used.
    (b) There were requests to include provisions requiring that 
agencies be informed of the scope and manner of GSA reviews and that 
would have the effect of regulating the timing of reviews. These 
changes are not desirable in view of the changing nature of the reviews 
program and since agencies are now notified of pending reviews.
    (c) Suggestions that agencies, not GSA, make determinations 
regarding FTS2000 exceptions were not accepted because of GSA's 
statutory responsibilities.
    (d) Suggestions that were not particularly relevant to the 
published notices were not addressed in this amendment, but will be 
reviewed for future bulletins or FIRMR changes.
    (3) Explanations of the changes made by this amendment are shown 
below:
    (a) Various sections of the FIRMR are amended to update GSA offices 
and symbols.
    (b) FIRMR part 201-4 is amended to change the definition of 
``performance validation'' to reflect that benchmarking is not the only 
method of validation. FIRMR Bulletin C-4 is also being revised to 
reflect this change.
    (c) Section 201-20.305(a) is amended to require agencies to provide 
GSA the position title and organizational identity of offices 
authorized to submit agency procurement requests for DPAs.
    (d) Section 201-20.305-1 is amended to clarify that a delegation is 
not required for FIP supplies even though they may be part of an 
acquisition that contains other FIP resources. It will serve to correct 
an error in FIRMR Interim Rule 2 appearing in the October 24, 1994 
Federal Register.
    (e) Section 201-20.305-1 is also amended to clarify that, when an 
agency elects to use SBA's 8(a) Program to acquire FIP resources, the 
FIRMR policies and delegation thresholds for obtaining DPAs apply. This 
final rule is responsive to agencies' concerns about when the DPA 
thresholds apply; explains the difference between a requirement 
``available from only one responsible source'' and a ``sole source'' 
acquisition issued under SBA's 8(a) Program; and explains that the 
thresholds apply to all FIP resource acquisitions (including indefinite 
delivery, indefinite quantity contracts). The FAR contains general 
policies that apply to all acquisitions. The FIRMR, which is the 
primary regulation for FIP acquisitions, contains policies and 
procedures that are unique to FIP resources. In acquiring FIP 
resources, acquisition personnel must follow the policies and 
procedures in the FAR except in those areas where the FIRMR prescribes 
special policies and procedures. This applies to acquisitions using 
SBA's 8(a) Program for FIP resources. To apply DPA thresholds to 
acquisitions conducted through SBA, an agency needs to determine if the 
requirement is (i) a specific make and model, or (ii) a requirement for 
which only one source of supply or service exists. If a requirement 
fits into either of these categories, a delegation is required if the 
value of combined FIP resources (including optional periods and 
quantities) exceeds the regulatory delegation threshold established in 
the FIRMR for the agency for a specific make and model or a requirement 
available from only one responsible source, unless the agency has a 
specific agency delegation at a different level. In all other cases, 
the higher regulatory delegation threshold established for the agency 
applies, unless the agency has a specific agency delegation at a 
different level.
    (f) Section 201-24.101-3 is amended to (i) provide a new address to 
which requests for exceptions to the use of FTS2000 are submitted, and 
(ii) clarify procedures when an agency's intercity telecommunications 
may fall outside the scope of FTS2000. Requirements for intercity 
telecommunications within the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the 
Virgin Islands must be submitted to GSA for inclusion in the FTS2000 
program or for a final determination as to whether a requirement is 
outside the scope of FTS2000. The changes will ensure that agencies 
follow appropriate procedures when acquiring intercity 
telecommunications services.
    (g) Section 201-24.104 is deleted to remove the POTS Program from 
GSA's mandatory programs. Agencies are encouraged to consider use of 
POTS, since the contracts are competed and provide cost-effective 
services. This change allows flexibility to agencies to acquire 
telecommunications resources that are most advantageous to their 
individual needs.
    (h) Subpart 201-39.8 is amended to remove provisions that require 
mandatory use of the POTS contracts. The POTS contracts are available 
for use on a nonmandatory basis as an optional source of supply. The 
name of the program is changed to ``Purchase of Telecommunications 
Services.''
    (i) The FIRMR Index is amended to reflect references changed or 
added by this amendment.
    (4) This rule was submitted to, and approved by, the Office of 
Management and Budget in accordance with Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review. The rule will not have a significant 
economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.).

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Parts 201-3, 201-4, 201-9, 201-18, 201-20, 
201-21, 201-23, 201-24, and 201-39

    Archives and records, Computer technology, Telecommunications, 
Government procurement, Property management, Records management, 
Federal information processing resources activities.

PART 201-3--THE FIRMR SYSTEM

    1. The authority citation for part 201-3 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).


Sec. 201-3.402  [Amended]

    2. In Sec. 201-3.402, paragraph (b), remove the words ``Policy and 
Regulations Division (KMP)'' and add in their place the words 
``Regulations Analysis Division (KMR).''

PART 201-4--DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS

    3. The authority citation for part 201-4 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).

    4. In Sec. 201-4.001, the definition of ``performance validation'' 
is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 201-4.001  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Performance validation means the technical verification of the 
ability of a proposed FIP system configuration or replacement component 
to meet agency specified performance requirements.
* * * * *

PART 201-9--CREATION, MAINTENANCE, AND USE OF RECORDS

    5. The authority citation for part 201-9 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).


Sec. 201-9.202-1  [Amended]

    6. In Sec. 201-9.202-1, paragraph (b)(7), remove the words 
``Standards Branch (KMPS)'' and add in their place ``Regulations 
Analysis Division (KMR).''


Sec. 201-9.202-2  [Amended]

    7. In Sec. 201-9.202-2, paragraph
(b)(1)(ix), remove the words ``Authorizations Branch (KMAS)'' and add 
in their place ``Acquisition Reviews Division (KMA).''

PART 201-18--PLANNING AND BUDGETING

    8. The authority citation for part 201-18 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).


Sec. 201-18.003  [Amended]

    9. In Sec. 201-18.003 remove the words ``Authorization and 
Management Reviews Division (KMA)'' and add in their place 
``Acquisition Reviews Division (KMA).''

PART 201-20--ACQUISITION

    10. The authority citation for part 201-20 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).


Sec. 201-20.303  [Amended]

    11. In Sec. 201-20.303, paragraph (d)(2), remove the words ``Policy 
and Regulations Division (KMP)'' and add in their place ``Regulations 
Analysis Division (KMR).''


Sec. 201-20.305  [Amended]

    12. Section 201-20.305 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(7) to 
read as follows:
    (a) * * *
    (7) The DSO shall provide, in writing, the position title and 
organizational identity of offices authorized to submit a request for a 
DPA from GSA to: General Services Administration, Acquisition Reviews 
Division (KMA), 18th and F Streets, NW., Washington, DC 20405.
* * * * *
    13. Section 201-20.305-1 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) 
and adding paragraph (c) as follows:


Sec. 201-20.305-1  Regulatory delegations.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (1) FIP equipment, software, services, and support services when 
the total estimated dollar value of all of the FIP resources to be 
acquired under the contract, including all optional items and all 
option periods, does not exceed $20,000,000 ($2,000,000 for a specific 
make and model or a requirement available from only one responsible 
source) for Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, 
Department of Defense/Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of 
Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the 
Navy, Department of Transportation, Department of the Treasury, and 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration; $10,000,000 ($1,000,000 
for a specific make and model or a requirement available from only one 
responsible source) for Department of Agriculture, Department of 
Commerce, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services 
Administration, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, 
Department of State, and Department of Veterans Affairs; $5,000,000 
($500,000 for a specific make or model or a requirement available from 
only one responsible source) for all agencies; and if either paragraph 
(a)(1) (i), (ii), or (iii) of this section applies:
* * * * *
    (c) When an agency acquires FIP resources through the Small 
Business Administration's 8(a) Program, the regulatory delegations in 
paragraph (a)(1) above apply unless an agency is granted specific 
agency delegations with different thresholds. If a requirement to be 
satisfied through the 8(a) Program is for a specific make and model or 
is one that is available from only one responsible source, the lower of 
the two specific agency delegation thresholds (or, if none exists, the 
FIRMR regulatory delegation thresholds) applies. For all other 
acquisitions, the higher of the two specific agency delegation 
thresholds (or, if none exists, the FIRMR regulatory delegation 
thresholds) apply. For acquisitions conducted through SBA's 8(a) 
Program, a requirement available from only one responsible source is 
one for which only one source of supply or service exists. The fact 
that the requirement is directed to one particular source under SBA's 
8(a) Program does not necessarily mean the requirement is available 
from only one responsible source. When using an indefinite delivery, 
indefinite quantity contract, the FIRMR thresholds apply to the maximum 
value of all combined FIP resources (including optional periods and 
quantities), not the minimum guaranteed value.

PART 201-21--OPERATIONS

    14. The authority citation for part 201-21 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).


Sec. 201-21.403  [Amended]

    15. In Sec. 201-21.403, paragraph (a)(2)(ii), remove the words 
``Authorizations Branch (KMAS)'' and add in their place ``Acquisition 
Reviews Division (KMA).''


Sec. 201-21.603  [Amended]

    16. In Sec. 201-21.603, paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(3), remove the 
words ``Regulations Branch (KMPR)'' and add in their place 
``Regulations Analysis Division (KMR).''


Sec. 201-21.604  [Amended]

    17. In Sec. 201-21.604(a) remove the words ``Authorizations Branch 
(KMAS)'' and add in their place ``Acquisition Reviews Division (KMA).''

PART 201-23--DISPOSITION

    18. The authority citation for part 201-23 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).


Sec. 201-23.003  [Amended]

    19. In Sec. 201-23.003, paragraphs (a) and (c), remove the words 
``Authorizations Branch (KMAS)'' and add in their place ``Acquisition 
Reviews Division (KMA).''

PART 201-24--GSA SERVICES AND ASSISTANCE

    20. The authority citation for part 201-24 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).


Sec. 201-24.101-2  [Amended]

    21. Section 201-24.101-2 is amended by revising the introductory 
text of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    (a) Federal agencies shall use the FTS2000 network to satisfy long 
distance telecommunications requirements within the United States, 
Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands for requirements which are 
within the scope of FTS2000 network voice, data, and video services as 
such services become available unless:
* * * * *


Sec. 201-24.101-3  [Amended]

    22. In Sec. 201-24.101-3, paragraph (a), remove the words 
``Information Resources Management Service, Office of Network Services 
(KN), Customer Services Branch'' and add in their place ``Office of 
FTS2000 (T).''
    23. Section 201-24.101-3 is amended by revising paragraph (d) and 
adding paragraph (g) to read as follows:


Sec. 201-24.101-3  Procedures.

* * * * *
    (d) Any agency exception request shall be sent to the General 
Services Administration/Office of FTS2000 (T) at the appropriate 
offices listed in FIRMR Bulletin C-18.
* * * * *
    (g) If an agency has a requirement for long distance 
telecommunications within the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the 
Virgin Islands that may be outside the scope of FTS2000, the 
requirement shall be submitted to GSA/T prior to initiating acquisition 
action. An exception to the mandatory use of FTS2000 will be given if 
GSA determines the service cannot be provided by FTS2000. Additionally, 
if a requirement is above the regulatory or specific agency delegation, 
and FTS2000 is not used, a specific acquisition delegation must be 
obtained. Requests for an exception and a DPA may be submitted 
simultaneously to GSA.


Sec. 201-24.102  [Amended]

    24. In Sec. 201-24.102, paragraph (c)(2), remove the words 
``Authorizations and Management Reviews Division'' and add in their 
place ``Acquisition Reviews Division.''


Sec. 201.24.104  [Reserved]

    25. Section 201-24.104 is removed and reserved.

PART 201-39--ACQUISITION OF FEDERAL INFORMATION PROCESSING 
RESOURCES (FIP) BY CONTRACTING

    26. The authority citation for part 201-39 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 486(c) and 751(f).

    27. Section 201-39.001 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read 
as follows:


Sec. 201-39.001  General.

* * * * *
    (b) To assist Federal agencies in preparing solicitations for FIP 
resources, the General Services Administration (GSA) makes available 
standard solicitations and other guidance. Copies may be obtained by 
contacting: GSA, Regulations Analysis Division (KMR), 18th and F 
Streets, NW., Washington, DC 20405. Acquisition guides may be obtained 
by contacting: GSA, Agency Liaison Division (KML), 18th and F Streets, 
NW., Washington, DC 20405.


Sec. 201-39.101-6  [Amended]

    28. In Sec. 201-39.101-6, paragraph (b), remove ``(KMPR)'' and add 
in its place ``(KMR).''


Sec. 201-37.104-1  [Amended]

    29. In Sec. 201-39.104-1, paragraph (b)(3), remove the words 
``Policy and Regulations Division (KMP)'' and add in their place 
``Regulations Analysis Division (KMR).''
    30. Sections 201-39.802, 201-39.802-1, 201-39.802-2, and 201-
39.802-3 are revised to read as follows:


Sec. 201-39.802  Purchase of Telecommunications Services (POTS) 
contracts.


Sec. 201-39.802-1  General.

    (a) GSA has established nonmandatory POTS contracts to provide an 
optional source for telecommunications supplies and services, including 
purchase, installation, maintenance, repair, de-installation, and 
relocation of both contractor-provided and Government-owned telephone 
equipment, at locations throughout the country.
    (b) The POTS contracts are available for use by all Federal 
agencies.
    (c) Federal agencies may obtain information and assistance 
concerning the use of POTS contracts from: GSA, Technical Contract 
Management Division (KVT), 18th and F Streets, NW., Washington, DC 
20405.


Sec. 201-39.802-2  Policies.

    (a) Federal agencies may use POTS contracts when the requirements 
are within the scope of the POTS contracts.
    (b) Use of the POTS contracts is a competitive procedure.
    (c) Orders issued under a POTS contract are not subject to the 
publication requirements in FAR Part 5.


Sec. 201-39.802-3  Procedures.

    Procedures for using the POTS program are contained in FIRMR 
Bulletin C-21.
    31. Section 201-39.3304-1 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 201-39.3304-1  Protest notice.

    Within one working day after receiving a copy of the protest, the 
contracting officer shall give oral or written notice of the protest 
to: General Services Administration, Acquisition Reviews Division 
(KMA), 18th and F Streets, NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone (202) 
501-1566. If the protest involves an acquisition issued under a 
specific acquisition delegation of procurement authority (DPA), the DPA 
number shall be provided to GSA with the notice. If the protest 
involves an acquisition issued under a regulatory or specific agency 
DPA, the solicitation number and the total dollar value of the 
acquisition shall be provided to GSA with the notice.

FIRMR Index [Amended]

    32. The following reference in the FIRMR Index is revised to read 
as follows:
* * * * *
POTS--201-39.802  Bulletin C-21
* * * * *
    Dated: October 7, 1994.
Roger W. Johnson,
Administrator of General Services.
[FR Doc. 94-28111 Filed 11-29-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-25-M