[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 1 (Monday, January 3, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 93-31152]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: January 3, 1994]


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

41 CFR Parts 201-1, 201-3, 201-20, and 201-39

RIN 3090-AF04

 

Amendment of FIRMR Provisions Relating to FIRMR Applicability, 
FIRMR Bulletins, Present Value Analysis, and Recycled Federal 
Information Processing (FIP) Resources

AGENCY: Information Resources Management Service, GSA.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This notice proposes to amend the Federal Information 
Resources Management Regulation (FIRMR) to: Revise FIRMR applicability 
provisions relating to the replacement of embedded Federal information 
processing (FIP) equipment, the delivery of a small amount of FIP 
resources under non-FIP procurements, and the availability of guidance 
on interpreting FIRMR applicability provisions; explain the 
nonmandatory nature of FIRMR bulletins; and require the use of OMB 
Circular A-94 in performing present value analysis when evaluating bids 
and proposals.

DATES: Comment are due March 4, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to GSA/KMR, 18th and F Streets, NW., 
room 3224, Washington, DC 20405, Attn: Anne Horth, or delivered to that 
address between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Anne Horth, GSA, Office of Information Resources Management Policy, 
Regulations Analysis Division (KMR), 18th and F Streets, NW., room 
3224, Washington, DC 20405, telephone FTS/Commercial (202) 501-0960 (v) 
or (202) 501-0657 (tdd).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: (1) Part 201-1 and subpart 201-39.1 are 
being amended to revise FIRMR provisions regarding applicability. 
Currently, FIRMR applicability extends to the acquisition of FIP 
equipment embedded in other products. Agencies have questioned whether 
such acquisitions should be applicable, given that the FIRMR was not 
applicable to the initial acquisition and the FIP equipment will only 
be put back in the original excepted produce. Accordingly, the FIRMR is 
being revised to grant an exception to FIRMR applicability for the 
replacement of any FIP equipment in a product that has already been 
granted an exception under Sec. 201-1.002-2(e). FIP software or related 
supplies used in the embedded FIP equipment is also being exempted for 
FIRMR coverage.
    Another issue creating confusion relates to the delivery of FIP 
resources. Now, the FIRMR applies whenever FIP resources are delivered 
to a Federal agency or users designated by the agency. Problems have 
arisen when the solicitation or contract is primarily for other than 
FIP resources, but FIP resources are also being delivered. The FIRMR 
currently always applies to the acquisition of the FIP resources, no 
matter how small the amount of FIP resources being delivered. Given the 
legislative exceptions for FIP resources that are not ``significant'' 
or are ``incidental to the performance of a Federal contract,'' GSA 
believes that a FIRMR exception would also be appropriate for 
acquisitions of FIP resources with a relatively low dollar value when 
the solicitation or contract is predominantly for non-FIP resources. 
Accordingly, the FIRMR is being revised to except such acquisitions 
when the value of the FIP resources does not exceed $500,000.
    A new Sec. 201-1.002-3 is being added to show that guidance on 
understanding FIRMR applicability provisions is available in FIRMR 
Bulletin A-1. Some agencies have asked for additional information on 
how to interpret FIRMR applicability provisions because they have been 
unaware of the existence of the guidance already available in Bulletin 
A-1. The addition of this section will correct that deficiency.
    (2) Subpart 201-3.001 is being amended to explain the nonmandatory 
nature of FIRMR bulletins. There is a perception, among some users of 
the FIRMR, that FIRMR bulletins are regulatory in nature. FIRMR 
bulletins are not regulatory. They are issued to: provide information 
and guidance that helps agencies acquire or manage FIP resources; 
explain procedures for using GSA programs; and assist in interpreting 
the provisions of the Brooks Act.
    (3) Sections 201-20.203-2, 201-39.14-1 and 201-39.1501-1 are being 
amended to reflect the fact that OMB Circular No. A-94 will now be used 
not only as the basis of analyzing the cost of each alternative when 
doing analyses of alternatives, but also in calculating bid and 
proposal prices/costs. Heretofore, OMB Circular No. A-94 has only been 
used to perform analyses of alternatives and the guidance in OMB 
Circular No. A-104 has been used in the evaluation of bids and 
proposals. OMB A-104 has been rescinded, and OMB A-94 has been revised 
to provide for making both types of determinations.
    (4) GSA has determined that this rule is not a significant rule for 
the purposes of Executive Order 12866 of October 4, 1993, because it is 
not likely to result in any of the impacts noted in Executive Order 
12866, affect the rights of specified individuals, or raise issues 
arising from the policies of the Administration. GSA has based all 
administrative decisions underlying this rule on adequate information 
concerning the need for and consequences of this rule; has determined 
that the potential benefits to society from this rule outweigh the 
potential costs; has maximized the net benefits; and has chosen the 
alternative approach involving the least net cost to society.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Parts 201-1, 201-3, 201-20, and 201-39.

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

    Accordingly, 41 CFR parts 201-1, 201-3, 201-20 and 201-39 are 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 201-1--APPLICABILITY AND AUTHORITY

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

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

    2. Section 201-1.002-2 is amended by revising Sec. 201-1.002-2(c) 
and adding new Sec. 201-1.002-2(f) as follows:


Sec. 201-1.002-2  Exceptions.

* * * * *
    (c) When both FIP and other resources are being acquired under the 
same solicitation or contract and the FIRMR applies to the solicitation 
or contract, the FIRMR applies only to the FIP resources. However, the 
FIRMR does not apply to solicitations and contracts predominantly for 
non-FIP resources when the dollar value of the FIP resources does not 
exceed $500,000.
* * * * *
    (f) The FIRMR does not apply to the acquisition, management, and 
use of FIP resources that will be used in or as embedded FIP equipment 
in products excepted from FIRMR coverage under Sec. 201-1.002-2(e), 
including replacement FIP resources.
    3. A new Sec. 201-1.002-3 is added as follows:


Sec. 201-1.002-3  Procedures.

    FIRMR Bulletin A-1 provides an analytical framework and examples 
for use in determining whether the FIRMR applies to an acquisition. 
Agencies should use this bulletin to assist them in understanding FIRMR 
applicability provisions.

PART 201-3--THE FIRMR SYSTEM

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

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

    5. Section 201-3.001 is amended by revising Sec. 201-3.001(b)(1) to 
read:


Sec. 201-3.001  General.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) FIRMR bulletins contain guidance and information on various 
information resources management subjects. FIRMR bulletins do not 
constitute binding authority, but should be used as an aid in 
understanding GSA programs and the FIRMR. FIRMR bulletins are published 
in appendix B of the looseleaf edition of the FIRMR and are available 
along with the FIRMR from GPO by subscription or on GSA's CD-ROM.
* * * * *

PART 201-20--ACQUISITION

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

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

    7. Section 201-20.203-2 is amended by revising Sec. 201-20.203-2(c) 
as follows:


Sec. 201-20.203-2  Cost for each alternative.

* * * * *
    (c) Agencies shall follow guidance in OMB Circular No. A-94, 
Revised Transmittal Memorandum No. 64, ``Benefit-Cost Analysis of 
Federal Programs; Guidelines and Discounts,'' when calculating the cost 
of each alternative.

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

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

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

    9. Section 201-39.101-3 is amended by revising Sec. 201-39.101-
3(b)(3) and adding a new Sec. 201-39.101-3(b)(6) as follows:


Sec. 201-39.101-3  Applicability.

* * * * *
    (b) Exceptions.
* * * * *
    (3) When both FIP and other resources are being acquired under the 
same solicitation or contract and the FIRMR applies to the solicitation 
or contract, the FIRMR applies only to the FIP resources. However, the 
FIRMR does not apply to solicitations and contracts predominantly for 
non-FIP resources when the dollar value of the FIP resources does not 
exceed $500,000.
    (6) The FIRMR does not apply to the acquisition, management, and 
use of FIP resources that will be used in or as embedded FIP equipment 
in products excepted from FIRMR coverage under Sec. 201-1.002-2(e), 
including replacement FIP equipment.
* * * * *
    10. Section 201-39.1402-1 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to 
read as follows:


Sec. 201-39.1402-1  Policies.

* * * * *
    (b) When payments are expected to vary among the alternatives being 
considered, or where payments will be made over an extended period, 
agencies shall consider the need to adjust all prices and costs to 
present value and apply the results in source selection. Agencies 
should follow the guidance in OMB Circular A-94 regarding present value 
calculations.
    11. Section 201-39.1501-1 is amended by revising Sec. 201-39.1501-
1(b) to read as follows:


Sec. 201-39.1501-1  Policies.

    (b) When payments are expected to vary among the alternatives being 
considered, or where payments will be made over an extended period, 
agencies shall consider the need to adjust all prices and costs to 
present value and apply the results in source selection. Agencies 
should follow the guidance in OMB Circular A-94 regarding present value 
calculations.

    Dated: December 10, 1993.
Francis A. McDonough,
Assistant Commissioner for Federal Information Resources Management.
[FR Doc. 93-31152 Filed 12-30-93; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-25-M