[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 231 (Thursday, December 1, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 74722-74723]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30874]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

48 CFR Part 422

RIN 0599-AA19


Office of Procurement and Property Management; Agriculture 
Acquisition Regulation, Labor Law Violations

AGENCY: Office of Procurement and Property Management, Department of 
Agriculture.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Procurement and Property Management (OPPM) of 
the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending the Agriculture 
Acquisition Regulation (the ``AGAR'') to add a new clause at subpart 
422.70 entitled ``Labor Law Violations.'' The rule is issued as a 
direct final rule. Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, we 
are publishing a companion proposed rule under USDA's usual procedure 
for notice and comment to provide a procedural framework to finalize 
the rule. In the event that any significant adverse comments are 
received, this direct final rule will be withdrawn.

DATES: This rule is effective February 29, 2012. Interested parties 
should submit written comments to the Department of Agriculture on or 
before January 30, 2012 to be considered in the formulation of a final 
rule. If any timely significant adverse comments are received, this 
final rule will be withdrawn in part or in whole by publication of a 
document in the Federal Register within 30 days after the comment 
period ends.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified in the subject line as ``48 CFR 
422 Direct Final Rule'' by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: Procurement@usda.gov.
     Mail: Office of Procurement and Property Management, 
Procurement Policy Division, MAIL STOP 9306, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9303.
     Hand Delivery/Courier: Room 262, Reporters' Building, 300 
7th Street SW., Washington, DC.
    Instructions: All submissions must be identified as ``48 CFR 422 
Direct Final Rule'' for this proposed rulemaking. Please include your 
name, company name (if applicable), email address and/or phone number 
where you can be contacted if additional clarification is required 
regarding your comment(s).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Calacone, Office of Procurement 
and Property Management, at (202) 205-4036 or by mail at OPPM, MAIL 
STOP 9304, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-9303. Please cite ``48 CFR 422 Direct Final 
Rule'' in all correspondence.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) highly respects and 
follows the policies and laws regarding worker labor protections 
particularly as they pertain to the acquisition process. To support 
these objectives, this proposed rule adds a subpart and clause entitled 
Labor Law Violations to the Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR). 
The AGAR may be accessed at: http://www.dm.usda.gov/procurement/policy/agar.html. This clause is to be included in all USDA contracts that 
exceed the simplified acquisition threshold, including all contract 
options.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    USDA certifies that this proposed rule will not have a significant 
impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined in the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. There is no additional 
submission required as a result of this action. The rule will not have 
a significant impact on the small business community or on a 
substantial number of small businesses. The Department invites comment 
on its estimates for the potential impact of this rulemaking on small 
businesses.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the proposed 
rule does not impose any recordkeeping or information collection 
requirements that require approval by the Office of Management and 
Budget.

D. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review,'' and 
Executive Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,'' 
direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available 
regulatory alternatives and, if

[[Page 74723]]

regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive 
Order 13563 emphasized the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting 
flexibility. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated this 
rule as not significant according to Executive Order 12866 and 
therefore this rule has not been reviewed by OMB.

E. Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule is not retroactive and does not preempt State 
or local laws, regulations, or policies unless they present an 
irreconcilable conflict with this rule. Before any judicial action may 
be brought regarding the provisions of this rule, appeal provisions of 
7 CFR parts 11 and 780 must be exhausted.

F. Executive Order 13132

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 13132, Federalism, and does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. 
Provisions of this proposed rule will not have a substantial direct 
effect on States or their political subdivisions or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various government levels.

G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule contains no Federal mandates under the 
regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
of 1995 (UMRA), and therefore a written statement is not required.

H. Executive Order 12372

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 12372, Intergovernmental review of Federal programs, and does not 
establish federal financial assistance or direct Federal development 
with State and local governments, and is therefore outside the scope of 
Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation 
with State and local officials.

I. Executive Order 13175

    This proposed rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments, and does not have tribal implications or impose unfunded 
mandates with Indian tribes.

J. E-Government Act Compliance

    USDA is committed to compliance with the E-Government Act, which 
requires Government agencies, in general, to provide the public the 
option of submitting information or transacting business electronically 
to the maximum extent possible. This proposed rule requires one letter 
from requestors which can be sent electronically to USDA. USDA will 
continue to seek other avenues to increase electronically submitted 
information.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 422

    Classified information, Computer technology, Government 
procurement, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of 
Agriculture amends 48 CFR part 422, as follows:

PART 422--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 422 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301 and 40 U.S.C. 486(c).


0
2. Subpart 422.70 is added to read as follows:

Subpart 422.70--Labor Law Violations


422.7001  Contract clause.

    Insert the clause at 452.222-7001, Labor Law Violations, in 
solicitations and contracts that exceed the simplified acquisition 
threshold. Contracting officers shall report violations to the Office 
of Procurement and Property Management, Procurement Policy Division, 
within two working days following notification by the contractor.


452.222-7001  Labor Law Violations.

    As prescribed in 422.7001, insert the following clause:

Labor Law Violations (August 2011)

    In accepting this contract award, the contractor certifies that 
it is in compliance with all applicable labor laws and that, to the 
best of its knowledge, its subcontractors of any tier, and 
suppliers, are also in compliance with all applicable labor laws. 
The Department of Agriculture will vigorously pursue corrective 
action against the contractor and/or any tier subcontractor (or 
supplier) in the event of a violation of labor law made in the 
provision of supplies and/or services under this or any other 
government contract. The contractor is responsible for promptly 
reporting to the contracting officer when formal allegations or 
formal findings of non-compliance of labor laws are determined. The 
Department of Agriculture considers certification under this clause 
to be a certification for purposes of the False Claims Act. The 
Department will cooperate as appropriate regarding labor laws 
applicable to the contract which are enforced by other agencies.
    (End of Clause)


    Dated: November 17, 2011.
Lisa M. Wilusz,
Director, Office of Procurement and Property Management.
[FR Doc. 2011-30874 Filed 11-30-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-98-P