[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 73 (Wednesday, April 16, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 21400-21402]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08659]


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

48 CFR Part 552

[(Change 57); GSAR Case 2012-G503 Docket No. 2012-0018; Sequence No. 1]
RIN 3090-AJ36


General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation; (GSAR); 
Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) and Sales Reporting

AGENCIES:  Office of Acquisition Policy, General Services 
Administration (GSA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The General Services Administration (GSA) is issuing a final 
rule amending the General Services Administration Acquisition 
Regulation (GSAR) to address the use of the Industrial Funding Fee 
(IFF) collected under the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program. The 
rule reflects GSA's current use of the Industrial Funding Fee, which 
includes uses specified in the Acquisition Services Fund, and which 
extend beyond the purposes currently stated in the GSAR.

DATES: Effective: May 16, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Dana Munson, General Services 
Acquisition Policy Division, GSA, 202-357-9652, or via email at 
Dana.Munson@gsa.gov, for clarification of content. For information 
pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory 
Secretariat at 202-501-4755. Please cite GSAR case 2012-G503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    GSA published a proposed rule with a request for public comments in 
the Federal Register at 77 FR 76446 on December 28, 2012, to address 
use of revised GSAR clause 552.238-74 Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) 
under the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program, and reinstatement 
with changes of the information collection requirement concerning OMB 
Control Number 3090-0121, Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) and Sales 
Reporting. One comment was received.
    In response, GSA published a second Information Collection notice 
request for public comments in the Federal Register at 78 FR 27239, on 
May 9, 2013 in which the comment from the first notice was addressed 
and to receive additional comments on the collection. One comment 
pertaining to the rule was received and is addressed in the Discussion 
and Analysis section of this rule. Another comment was received 
pertaining to the collection and is addressed in the Paperwork 
Reduction Act section of this rule.
    The proposed rule sought to amend the GSAR to update the text 
addressing GSAR part 552, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses 
at 552.238-74 Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) and Sales Reporting. This 
change will improve the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Program by 
facilitating transparency and open government, and more accurately 
define the current MAS Program operations while simultaneously 
complying with the recommendations of the GSA Office of Inspector 
General (OIG).
    Currently, the language contained in the IFF Clause under GSAR 
552.238-74(b)(2) states ``. . . The IFF reimburses the Federal Supply 
Service for the costs of operating the Federal Supply Schedules Program 
and recoups its operating costs from ordering activities.'' The GSA 
OIG's Audit of the Multiple Award Schedule Program Industrial Funding 
Fee (Report Number A090256/Q/A/P12003), dated February 3, 2012 (the 
``OIG Report''), recommended that GSA further improve transparency in 
the MAS Program by informing MAS customers that the IFF may be used to 
fund other eligible GSA

[[Page 21401]]

programs besides those that manage the MAS program. As a result of the 
OIG recommendation, GSA is amending the current language at GSAR clause 
552.238-74 Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) and Sales Reporting to include 
the expanded role of net revenue generated by IFF payments.
    In addition, the OIG Report cited the GSA Modernization Act (Pub. 
L. 109-313, 120 Stat. 1734 (2006), codified in relevant part at 40 
U.S.C. 321), as the authority under which net operating revenue 
generated by the IFF can be used for more than simple recoupment of 
costs to run the MAS Program.
    The GSA Modernization Act combined the General Supply Fund and the 
Information Technology Fund which were formerly separate, into one 
fund, the Acquisition Services Fund.
    40 U.S.C. 321, among other things, grants the GSA Administrator 
latitude in determining how to use net operating revenue from the MAS 
Program, including funding other Federal Acquisition Services (FAS) 
programs or funding initiatives benefitting other FAS programs. 
Essentially, use of MAS program revenue may extend beyond mere MAS 
Program cost recovery. In the past, GSA did not convey this information 
directly to MAS Program customers.
    Additionally, GSA is making administrative changes by updating all 
references to ``Federal Supply Service'' or ``FSS'' in the IFF clause 
to reflect the current organizational name: ``Federal Acquisition 
Services'' or ``FAS'', as appropriate.
    This final rule complies with the recommendations of the GSA OIG, 
and facilitates transparency and open government, as well as more 
accurately reflects the current MAS Program relative to use of the IFF. 
This final rule is separate and apart from any agency action that may 
change or alter the IFF rate or fee structure.

II. Discussion and Analysis

    As a result of the publication of the proposed rule, one public 
comment was received and is addressed in this rule. Another public 
comment was received pertaining to the information collection and is 
addressed directly in section V. Paperwork Reduction Act of this rule. 
GSA has reviewed the comments in the development of this final rule and 
offers the following responses:
    Comment: The commenter expressed two concerns about the collection 
requirements of IFF reporting for Transportation Service Providers 
(TSPs). The commenter believes the scope of the information collection 
requirement is inadequately defined and measured. This comment is 
addressed in section V. Paperwork Reduction Act of this rule.
    Additionally, the commenter expressed that the information sought 
by GSA is in excess of what is necessary for the Agency to run its 
Freight Transportation Management Program.
    Response: The IFF represents a percentage of the total quarterly 
sales reported under the Multiple Award Schedules FSS Program. The IFF 
reimburses FSS for the costs of operating the FSS Program and enables 
FSS to recoup its operating costs from ordering activities. Although 
the General Freight Traffic Management Program also makes reference to 
an ``Industrial Funding Fee'' in its Request for Offers, that IFF is 
separate and distinct from the Industrial Funding Fee referenced in 
this case, which only relates to GSA's Multiple Award Schedules 
Program. As the commenter correctly states, the IFF referenced under 
the General Freight Traffic Management Program does not apply to MAS, 
and thus this change is outside the scope of the General Freight 
Traffic Management Program.
    Therefore, no changes were made to the final rule as a result of 
the comment received.

III. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 
subject to review under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning 
and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule 
under 5 U.S.C. 804.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The General Services Administration certifies that this final rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 
U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the final rule clarifies GSA's use of the 
IFF collected under the MAS Program, consistent with the GSA 
Modernization Act and the recommendation of the GSA OIG. This change 
will not only implement the OIG's recommendations but will also benefit 
the agencies, GSA, FAS, and the MAS Program by facilitating 
transparency, accountability, and clarity about the MAS policy and 
operational procedures. This rule does not require implementation of 
any new changes on the part of businesses, large or small doing 
business with GSA. Therefore, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis has not been performed.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

Discussion and Analysis

    One respondent submitted a comment on the second information 
collection notice. The analysis of the public comment is summarized as 
follows:
    Comment: The commenter felt that the Agency's estimate did not 
accurately reflect the public burden experienced by Transportation 
Service Providers under the Freight Transportation Management Program. 
The IFF clause requires quarterly submission of the IFF. However, under 
the Standard Tender of Service governing Transportation Service 
Providers in the Freight Transportation Management Program, reports are 
due on a monthly basis. Thus, presenting a much greater IC burden than 
estimated in the notice.
    Response: GSA does not agree with commenter's comment. The 
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requires agencies to estimate the burden 
imposed on the public in complying with the collection. The estimated 
burden hours for this reporting requirement are consistent with 
previously approved estimates under this information collection. These 
proposed GSAR revisions merely update the clause to reflect how GSA may 
use the IFF to include the ability to fund other FAS programs and fund 
initiatives that benefit other FAS programs. This is only an 
administrative change, and does not represent a program change that 
affects the existing reporting requirement associated with this case. 
Additionally, the estimated burden hours already take into 
consideration the varying amount of time it can take for different 
types of entities to comply with the clause each quarter. The estimate 
is meant to represent an approximate average across the entire MAS 
Program. The estimated number of respondents is consistent with 
previously updated information collections affecting all MAS Program 
contractors. Also, the number of contractors under the MAS Program 
changes constantly and therefore a rounded estimate is utilized for 
this purpose.
    GSA does not concur with the commenter's suggested revision to

[[Page 21402]]

current burden estimates, and as a result, no changes were made to the 
burden estimates.
    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) applies. The 
rule contains information collection requirements. The Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has cleared this information collection 
requirement under OMB Control Number 3090-0121, titled: Industrial 
Funding Fee and Sales Reporting.
    Public reporting burden for this collection of information is 
estimated to average .0833 hours per response, including the time for 
reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection information.
    The annual reporting burden is estimated as follows:
    Respondents: 19,000.
    Responses per Respondent: 4.
    Total Responses: 76,000.
    Hours per Response: .0833.
    Total Burden Hours: 6,330.80.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 552

    Government procurement.

    Dated: March 20, 2014.
Jeffrey Koses,
Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of 
Government-wide Policy.

    Therefore, GSA amends 48 CFR part 552 as set forth below:

PART 552--SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

0
1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 552 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c).


0
2. Amend section 552.238-74 by--
0
a. Revising the heading and date of the clause;
0
b. Removing from paragraph (a)(2) ``within'' and adding ``Federal 
Acquisition Services (FAS) within'' in its place;
0
c. Removing from paragraph (a)(4) ``Supply'' and adding ``Acquisition'' 
in its place; and removing ``FSS'' and adding ``FAS'' in its place 
(twice);
0
d. Removing from the introductory text of paragraph (b) and paragraph 
(b)(1) ``FSS'' and adding ``FAS'' in its place;
0
e. Revising paragraph (b)(2); and
0
f. Removing from paragraph (c) ``FSS'' and adding ``FAS'' in its place 
(twice).
    The revised text reads as follows:


552.238-74  Industrial Funding Fee and Sales Reporting.

* * * * *

Modifications (Federal Supply Schedule) [May 16, 2014]

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) The IFF represents a percentage of the total quarterly sales 
reported. This percentage is set at the discretion of GSA's FAS. 
GSA's FAS has the unilateral right to change the percentage at any 
time, but not more than once per year. FAS will provide reasonable 
notice prior to the effective date of the change. The IFF reimburses 
FAS for the costs of operating the Federal Supply Schedules Program. 
FAS recoups its operating costs from ordering activities as set 
forth in 40 U.S.C. 321: Acquisition Services Fund. Net operating 
revenues generated by the IFF are also applied to fund initiatives 
benefitting other authorized FAS programs, in accordance with 40 
U.S.C. 321. Offerors must include the IFF in their prices. The fee 
is included in the award price(s) and reflected in the total amount 
charged to ordering activities. FAS will post notice of the current 
IFF at https://72a.gsa.gov/ or successor Web site as appropriate.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-08659 Filed 4-15-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-61-P