[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 240 (Thursday, December 15, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 74206-74207]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-23994]


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NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Part 1852

RIN 2700-AD03


NASA Research Announcements--Small Business Subcontracting Plans 
and Publication Acknowledgement and Disclaimers

AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This is a final rule amending the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to 
require for NASA Research Announcements: Submission of a small business 
subcontracting plan with any proposal having subcontracting 
possibilities that may result in the award of a contract whose value 
exceeds $5,000,000; and acknowledgement of NASA sponsorship and 
disclaimer of agency endorsement of results.

DATES: Effective Date: December 15, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Flynn, NASA Headquarters, 
Office of Procurement, Contract Management Division, (202) 358-0460, e-
mail: patrick.flynn@nasa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

A. Background

    On September 27, 2004, NASA published a proposed rule (69 FR 57664-
57665) to solicit comments on its proposal to amend subcontracting plan 
and acknowledgement and disclaimer requirements for NASA Research 
Announcements (NRAs) and resulting contracts. During the 60-day public-
comment period, NASA received one response to the proposed rule. The 
Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) expressed concern that the 
proposed rule would make preparation and response to NRAs more costly 
and more cumbersome to prepare, by requiring submission of a small 
business subcontracting plan before evaluation rather than after 
selection, as is currently the rule. AIA's comment and our analysis 
follow. No comments were received with respect to the second part of 
the proposal, adding acknowledgement of NASA sponsorship

[[Page 74207]]

and disclaimer of agency endorsement of results to standard reporting 
requirements.

B. Analysis

    Clarification of the scope of the proposed change to the existing 
subcontracting plan submission requirement will show the magnitude of 
burden about which AIA expressed concern. The proposed rule amends the 
NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) requirement for submission of a small 
business subcontracting plan along with initial submission of any 
proposal having subcontracting possibilities that may result in the 
award of a contract whose value exceeds $500,000 under NASA Research 
Announcements (NRAs), a type of broad agency announcement. The NFS 
already requires submission of such a plan, but only after selection is 
made by the agency for contract award under these competitive 
procedures. Consequently, the proposed rule does not affect ultimate 
costs or difficulty for NRA proposal preparation by successful 
offerors, but only by unsuccessful offerors.
    The commenter's specific objection is that requiring a subcontract 
plan and asking potential contractors to commit to that plan is 
unreasonable for this type of acquisition because opportunities are 
often minimal. We disagree for two reasons. First, the statutory 
requirement on which the NFS requirement is based, Section 8(d) of the 
Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(d)), makes no exception for research. 
Second, it is not unreasonable to expect that NASA will benefit from 
increased small business participation in contracted research, and that 
it should be encouraged. We are not alone in holding this position. 
Recently, in its National Innovation Initiative Report (December 2004), 
the Council on Competitiveness asserted a new trend of interdependence 
of small and large firms, saying on page 18, ``This interdependence is 
particularly relevant in the context of the innovation enterprise. Big 
and small companies have increasingly complementary roles in technology 
development.''
    However, recognizing that the magnitude of research projects has a 
direct bearing on subcontracting opportunities, and considering the 
burden placed on offerors under smaller project announcements, we have 
found merit in AIA's recommended alternate proposal that subcontract 
plans before selection be required only above $5,000,000, rather than 
$500,000, as we originally proposed. (Plans will still be required 
after selection and before contract award above $500,000.)

C. Impact

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NASA certifies that this final rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities since the 
rule: (1) Only affects the timing of the submission of small business 
subcontracting plans by large business offerors; and (2) adds a 
requirement for a short legend to be affixed to publications of 
material based on NASA-sponsored projects. Small businesses do not 
submit subcontracting plans, and any costs associated with the legend 
are economically insignificant. No comments were received from small 
entities in response to the proposed rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to 
the NFS do not impose any recordkeeping or information collection 
requirements, or collections of information from offerors, contractors, 
or members of the public that require the approval of the Office of 
Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 1852

    Government procurement.

Tom Luedtke,
Assistant Administrator for Procurement.

0
Accordingly, 48 CFR Part 1852 is amended as follows:

PART 1852--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

0
1. The authority citation for 48 CFR Part 1852 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(1)

0
2. Amend section 1852.235-72 by revising the date of the clause and 
paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:


1852.235-72  Instructions for Responding to NASA Research 
Announcements.

* * * * *

Instructions for Responding to NASA Research Announcements (Dec 2005)

    (a) * * *
    (4) A contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or other agreement 
may be used to accomplish an effort funded in response to an NRA. NASA 
will determine the appropriate award instrument. Contracts resulting 
from NRAs are subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the 
NASA FAR Supplement. Any proposal from a large business concern that 
may result in the award of a contract, which exceeds $5,000,000 and has 
subcontracting possibilities should include a small business 
subcontracting plan in accordance with the clause at FAR 52.219-9, 
Small Business Subcontracting Plan. (Subcontract plans for contract 
awards below $5,000,000, will be negotiated after selection.) Any 
resultant grants or cooperative agreements will be awarded and 
administered in accordance with the NASA Grant and Cooperative 
Agreement Handbook (NPR 5800.1).
* * * * *

0
A. Amend section 1852.235-73 by revising the date of the clause to read 
(Dec 2005) and, in the first sentence of paragraph (b) removing the 
reference ``NPR 2200.2A'' and adding ``NPR 2200.2'' in its place.

0
B. Amend section 1852.235-73, Alternate II, by revising the date of the 
clause and adding a new paragraph (f) to read as follows:


1852.235-73  Final Scientific and Technical Reports.

* * * * *

Alternate II (Dec 2005)

* * * * *
    (f) All publications of any material based on or developed under 
NASA sponsored projects shall include an acknowledgement similar to the 
following:

    ``The material is based upon work supported by the National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration under Contract Number XXXX.''

    Except for articles or papers published in scientific, technical or 
professional journals, the exposition of results from NASA supported 
research shall also include the following disclaimer:

    ``Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations 
expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not 
necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration.''

[FR Doc. 05-23994 Filed 12-14-05; 8:45 am]
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