[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 50 (Wednesday, March 14, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15022-15024]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6101]


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Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 50 / Wednesday, March 14, 2012 / 
Notices

[[Page 15022]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Presidential Memorandum of February 21, 2012; Driving Innovation 
and Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable 
Product Procurement

    On February 21, 2012, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum to 
the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies directing that they 
effectively execute Federal procurement requirements for biobased 
products, including those requirements identified in Executive Order 
13514 and prescribed in the 2002 Farm Bill, as amended by the 2008 Farm 
Bill. The text of this memorandum reads:
    The BioPreferred program--established by the Farm Security and 
Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-171) (2002 Farm Bill), and 
strengthened by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 
110-234) (2008 Farm Bill)--is intended to increase Federal procurement 
of biobased products to promote rural economic development, create new 
jobs, and provide new markets for farm commodities. Biobased and 
sustainable products help to increase our energy security and 
independence.
    The Federal Government, with leadership from the Department of 
Agriculture (USDA), has made significant strides in implementing the 
BioPreferred program. It is one of the key elements in my efforts to 
promote sustainable acquisition throughout the Government under 
Executive Order 13514 of October 5, 2009 (Federal Leadership in 
Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance). Further efforts will 
drive innovation and economic growth and create jobs at marginal cost 
to the American public.
    The goal of this memorandum is to ensure that executive departments 
and agencies (agencies) effectively execute Federal procurement 
requirements for biobased products, including those requirements 
identified in Executive Order 13514 and prescribed in the 2002 Farm 
Bill, as amended by the 2008 Farm Bill. It is vital that these efforts 
are in accord and carefully coordinated with other Federal procurement 
requirements.
    Therefore, I direct that agencies take the following steps to 
significantly increase Federal procurement of biobased and other 
sustainable products.

Section 1. Actions Related to Executive Order 13514

    (a) Agencies shall include and report on biobased acquisition as 
part of the sustainable acquisition goals and milestones in the 
Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan required by section 8 of 
Executive Order 13514.
    (b) As required by section 2(h) of Executive Order 13514, agencies 
shall ensure that 95 percent of applicable new contract actions for 
products and services advance sustainable acquisition, including 
biobased acquisition, where such products and services meet agency 
performance requirements. In doing so, agencies shall:
    (i) Include acquisition of biobased products in their Affirmative 
Procurement Programs and Preferable Purchasing Programs, as applicable 
(as originally required by Executive Order 13101 of September 14, 1998 
(Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and 
Federal Acquisition) and reinforced by Executive Order 13423 of January 
24, 2007 (Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and 
Transportation Management) and Executive Order 13514);
    (ii) include biobased products as part of their procurement review 
and monitoring program required by section 9002(a) of the 2008 Farm 
Bill, incorporating data collection and reporting requirements as part 
of their program evaluation; and
    (iii) provide appropriate training on procurement of biobased 
products for all acquisition personnel including requirements and 
procurement staff.
    (c) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shall emphasize 
biobased purchasing in the fiscal year 2012 and 2013 Sustainability/
Energy scorecard, which is the periodic evaluation of agency 
performance on sustainable acquisition pursuant to section 4 of 
Executive Order 13514.

Section 2. Biobased Product Designations

    The USDA has already designated 64 categories of biobased products 
for preferred Federal procurement. Although these categories represent 
an estimated 9,000 individual products, less than half of the known 
biobased products are currently included in the preference program. 
Increasing the number of products subject to the Federal procurement 
preference will increase procurement of biobased products. Therefore, I 
direct the Secretary of Agriculture to:
    (a) Increase both the number of categories of biobased products 
designated and individual products eligible for preferred purchasing by 
50 percent within 1 year of the date of this memorandum; and
    (b) establish a Web-based process whereby biobased product 
manufacturers can request USDA to establish a new product category for 
designation. The USDA shall determine the merit of the request and, if 
the product category is deemed eligible, propose designation within 180 
days of the request.

Section 3. Changes in Procurement Mechanisms

    Several actions can be taken to facilitate improvement in and 
compliance with the requirements to purchase biobased products. To 
achieve these changes, I direct:
    (a) The Senior Sustainability Officers and Chief Acquisition 
Officers of all agencies to randomly sample procurement actions (such 
as solicitations and awards) to verify that biobased considerations are 
included as appropriate. Agencies shall include results of these 
sampling efforts in the Sustainability/Energy scorecard reported to 
OMB;
    (b) the Secretary of Agriculture to work with relevant officials in 
agencies that have electronic product procurement catalogs to identify 
and implement solutions to increase the visibility of biobased and 
other sustainable products;
    (c) the Senior Sustainability Officers of all agencies that have 
established agency-specific product specifications, in coordination 
with any other appropriate officials, to review and

[[Page 15023]]

revise all specifications under their control to assure that, wherever 
possible and appropriate, such specifications require the use of 
sustainable products, including USDA-designated biobased products, and 
that any language prohibiting the use of biobased products is removed. 
The review shall be on a 4-year cycle. Significant review should be 
completed within 1 year of the date of this memorandum, and the results 
of the reviews shall be annually reported to OMB and the Office of 
Science and Technology Policy (OSTP); and
    (d) the Secretary of Agriculture to amend USDA's automated contract 
writing system, the Integrated Acquisition System, to serve as a model 
for biobased product procurement throughout the Federal Government by 
adding elements related to acquisition planning, evaluation factors for 
source selection, and specifications and requirements. Once completed, 
USDA shall share the model with all agencies and, as appropriate, 
assist any agency efforts to adopt similar mechanisms.

Section 4. Small Business Assistance

    A majority of the biobased product manufacturers and vendors 
selling biobased products and services that use biobased products to 
the Federal Government are small businesses. To improve the ability of 
small businesses to sell these products and services to the Federal 
Government, I direct:
    (a) The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary 
of Agriculture, to use relevant programs of the Department, such as the 
Manufacturing Extension Partnership network, to improve the performance 
and competitiveness of biobased product manufacturers;
    (b) the Secretary of Agriculture to work cooperatively with 
Procurement Technical Assistance Center programs located across the 
Nation to provide training and assistance to biobased product companies 
to make these companies aware of the BioPreferred program and 
opportunities to sell biobased products to Federal, State, and local 
government agencies; and
    (c) the Secretary of Agriculture to develop training within 6 
months of the date of this memorandum for small businesses on the 
BioPreferred program and the opportunities it presents, and the 
Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to disseminate 
that training to Small Business Development Centers and feature it on 
the SBA Web site.

Section 5. Reporting

    The Federal Government should obtain the most reliable information 
to gauge its progress in purchasing biobased products, including 
measuring the annual number of procurements that include direct 
purchase of biobased products, the annual number of construction and 
service contracts that include the purchase of biobased products, and 
the annual volume and type of biobased products the Federal Government 
purchases. I direct that:
    (a) Within 1 year of the date of this memorandum, the Federal 
Acquisition Regulatory Council shall propose an amendment to the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation to require reporting of biobased product 
purchases, to be made public on an annual basis; and
    (b) following the promulgation of the proposed amendment referenced 
in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture, in 
consultation with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, shall develop 
a reporting template to facilitate the annual reporting requirement.

Section 6. Jobs Creation Research

    Biobased products are creating jobs across America. These 
innovative products are creating new markets for agriculture and 
expanding opportunities in rural America. Therefore, I direct the 
Secretary of Agriculture to prepare a report on job creation and the 
economic impact associated with the biobased product industry to be 
submitted to the President through the Domestic Policy Council and OSTP 
within 2 years of the date of this memorandum. The study shall include:
    (a) The number of American jobs originating from the biobased 
product industry annually over the last 10 years, including the job 
changes in specific sectors;
    (b) the dollar value of the current domestic biobased products 
industry, including intermediates, feedstocks, and finished products, 
but excluding biofuels;
    (c) a forecast for biobased job creation potential over the next 10 
years;
    (d) a forecast for growth in the biobased industry over the next 10 
years; and
    (e) jobs data for both biofuels and biobased products, but shall 
generate separate data for each category.

Section 7. Education and Outreach

    In compliance with the 2002 Farm Bill, several agencies established 
agency promotion programs to support the biobased products procurement 
preference. The Federal Acquisition Institute has added biobased 
procurement training to its course offerings. To assure both formal and 
informal educational and outreach instruction on the BioPreferred 
program are in place and being implemented by each agency, I direct:
    (a) The Secretary of Agriculture to update all existing USDA 
BioPreferred and related sustainable acquisition training materials 
within 1 year of the date of this memorandum;
    (b) the Senior Sustainability Officers and Chief Acquisition 
Officers of agencies to work cooperatively with the Secretary of 
Agriculture to immediately implement such BioPreferred program agency 
education and outreach programs as are necessary to meet the 
requirements of this memorandum and relevant statutes; and
    (c) the Secretary of Agriculture to work actively with the 
Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled 
to promote education and outreach to program, technical, and 
contracting personnel, and to purchase card holders on BioPreferred 
AbilityOne products.

Section 8. General Provisions

    (a) This memorandum shall apply to an agency with respect to the 
activities, personnel, resources, and facilities of the agency that are 
located within the United States. The head of an agency may provide 
that this memorandum shall apply in whole or in part with respect to 
the activities, personnel, resources, and facilities of the agency that 
are not located within the United States, if the head of the agency 
determines that such application is in the interest of the United 
States.
    (b) The head of an agency shall manage activities, personnel, 
resources, and facilities of the agency that are not located within the 
United States, and with respect to which the head of the agency has not 
made a determination under subsection (a) of this section, in a manner 
consistent with the policies set forth in this memorandum, to the 
extent the head of the agency determines practicable.
    (c) For purposes of this memorandum, ``biobased product'' shall 
have the meaning set forth in section 8101(4) of title 7, United States 
Code.
    (d) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any 
right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in 
equity by any party against the United States, its departments, 
agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other 
person.
    (e) The Secretary of Agriculture is hereby authorized and directed 
to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


[[Page 15024]]


    Dated: March 8, 2012.
Pearlie S. Reed,
Assistant Secretary for Administration, S. Department of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2012-6101 Filed 3-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-93-P