[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 36 (Thursday, February 23, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 10714-10716]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-4216]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

48 CFR Chapter 10

RIN 1505-AC41


Department of the Treasury Acquisition Regulation; Internet 
Payment Platform

AGENCY: Office of the Procurement Executive, Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Department of the Treasury is proposing to amend the 
Department of the Treasury Acquisition Regulation (DTAR) to implement 
use of the Internet Payment Platform, a centralized electronic 
invoicing and payment information system, and to change the definition 
of bureau to reflect the consolidation on July 21, 2011 of the Office 
of Thrift Supervision with the Office of the Comptroller of the 
Currency.

DATES: Comment due date: April 23, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Treasury invites comments on the topics addressed in this 
proposed rule. Comments may be submitted to Treasury by any of the 
following methods: By submitting electronic comments through the 
federal

[[Page 10715]]

government e-rulemaking portal, www.regulations.gov, by email to 
ronald.backes@treasury.gov; or by sending paper comments to Department 
of the Treasury, Office of the Procurement Executive, Attn: Ronald 
Backes, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Metropolitan Square Room 6N501, 
Washington, DC 20220.
    In general, Treasury will post all comments to www.regulations.gov 
without change, including any business or personal information 
provided, such as names, addresses, email addresses, or telephone 
numbers. Treasury will also make such comments available for public 
inspection and copying in Treasury's Library, Room 1428, Department of 
the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220, on 
official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern 
Time. You can make an appointment to inspect comments by telephoning 
(202) 622-0990. All comments, including attachments and other 
supporting materials received are part of the public record and subject 
to public disclosure. You should submit only information that you wish 
to make publicly available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronald Backes, Director, Acquisition 
Management, Office of the Procurement Executive, at (202) 622-5930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 
sets forth the uniform regulation for the procurement of supplies and 
services by federal departments and agencies (title 48, chapter 1, of 
the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)). The Department of the Treasury 
Acquisition Regulations, which supplement the FAR, are codified at 48 
CFR Chapter 10.
    On July 5, 2011, the Department announced that it will implement 
the Internet Payment Platform (IPP) no later than the end of fiscal 
year 2012; with all new payment requests in FY2013 processed using the 
IPP. The Internet Payment Platform (IPP) is a secure web-based 
electronic invoicing and payment system that processes vendor payment 
data electronically, either through a web-based portal or electronic 
submission, and automates the routing and approval workflow within an 
agency.
    The IPP is provided by the Department of the Treasury's Financial 
Management Service through its fiscal agent, the Federal Reserve Bank 
of Boston at no cost to vendors or government departments and agencies 
adopting the platform. The IPP benefits agencies by eliminating the 
need to file and store paper payment documentation; reducing the time 
of agency personnel researching and answering payment status questions 
by providing vendor and department-wide visibility into contract 
payments.
    IPP benefits vendors by reducing time to payment, creating a 
standard set of electronic data to submit payment requests to the 
Federal government; reducing costs from having multiple processes and 
requirements; reducing paper and postage costs, improving cash 
management by eliminating the time delays associates with submitting 
and routing paper; and increasing transparency in the payment 
processes.
    The US Treasury will support vendor transition from paper-based 
payment processes to IPP through a series of Webinar and video training 
on various aspects of the application, including how to view purchase 
orders, submit invoices, retrieve payment information, set notification 
preferences, and add users to IPP accounts. The IPP application 
includes a ``Collector User Guide'' on vendor landing page. Treasury 
also operates customer support services email and toll free numbers 
during business hours, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Eastern 
Time.
    In this proposed rule, the Department would add a new subpart 
1032.70--Electronic Submission and Processing of Payment Requests to 
establish the IPP. This subpart prescribes policies and procedures for 
electronic submission and processing of payment requests. First, the 
new subpart sets forth the scope, a definition of ``payment request,'' 
and a description of the IPP policy. With limited exceptions, the new 
provisions would establish that after October 1, 2012, Treasury will 
require and contractors will submit payment requests electronically. 
The rule also proposes a waiver of its provisions. Finally, the rule 
proposes the text of the IPP contract clause.
    This proposed rule would also make nonsubstantive, technical 
changes to update the DTAR definition of ``bureau'' and would add 
``IPP'' to the DTAR list of abbreviations.

Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined in 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Therefore a regulatory 
assessment is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) generally 
requires agencies to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis 
and a final regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to 
notice and comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies 
that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    It is hereby certified that this proposed rule would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The IPP will benefit vendors by reducing time to payment, creating a 
standard set of electronic data to submit payment requests to the 
Federal government; reducing costs associated with adhering to multiple 
processes and requirements for different federal agencies; reducing 
paper and postage costs, improving cash management by eliminating the 
time delays associates with submitting and routing paper; and 
increasing transparency in the payment processes. The rule is intended 
to support the implementation of the IPP to streamline the payment 
processes associated with government contracts and agreements.
    Treasury contracts with more than 4,000 small businesses annually. 
This rule is expected to impact all small businesses that contract with 
Treasury. While Treasury anticipates that a significant number of small 
businesses will be impacted, the economic impact is minimal, and 
outweighed by the economic benefits of IPP. An initial cost to small 
businesses in terms of changes to manual, paper-based invoicing 
processes is expected to be recouped by small businesses within a 
short-term through more efficient submission and reporting of invoices 
and payments and more timely payments. No additional reporting or 
record-keeping requirements for small businesses result from this rule. 
Staff experienced with the submission of paper-based payment requests 
will need to learn the process for submitting electronic payment 
requests. New compliance and reporting requirements are not 
anticipated, as Government and vendor staff will be able to access data 
and reports directly through the IPP.
    This rule is related to, but not in conflict with, following 
federal rules:
     31 CFR Part 208 requires that most federal payments be 
made electronically, subject to certain waivers established in the 
rule.
     The Prompt Payment rule at 5 CFR Part 1315 requires 
vendors to submit Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) information and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) as part of a proper invoice, 
unless agency procedures provide otherwise. Late interest penalties do 
not apply if the vendor has failed to submit this information.
     48 CFR Parts 13, 15, 32 and 52, addresses the use of EFT 
for federal

[[Page 10716]]

contract payments and also provides for the collection of banking 
information from vendors. In particular, the FAR EFT rule provides EFT 
contract clauses that agencies should use in their contracts with 
government vendors requiring them to receive payments electronically
    This rule would be implemented in such a manner to complement these 
rules. Accordingly, the undersigned hereby certifies that this rule 
will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Notwithstanding this 
certification, the Department invites comments from small businesses to 
concerning the impact of this proposal on small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collections contained in this proposed rule have 
been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) and assigned OMB 
control numbers 1505-0081; 1505-0080; and 1505-0107. Under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act, an agency may not conduct or sponsor and a 
person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless 
it displays a valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects in 48 CFR Chapter 10

    Government procurement.

    Accordingly, the Department of the Treasury proposes to revise 48 
CFR Chapter 10 to read as follows:

CHAPTER 10--DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

    1. The authority citation for part 1002 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  41 U.S.C. 418b.

    2. Section 1002.101 is revised to read as follows:


1002.101  Definitions.

    Bureau means any one of the following Treasury organizations:
    (1) Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB);
    (2) Bureau of Engraving & Printing (BEP);
    (3) Bureau of Public Debt (BPD);
    (4) Departmental Offices (DO);
    (5) Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN);
    (6) Financial Management Service (FMS);
    (7) Office of the Inspector General (OIG);
    (8) Internal Revenue Service (IRS);
    (9) Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC);
    (10) Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief 
Program (SIGTARP);
    (11) Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA); or
    (12) United States Mint.
    3. Section 1002.70 is revised by adding the following abbreviation 
in alphabetical order to read as follows:


1002.70  Abbreviations.

* * * * *
IPP Internet Payment Platform
* * * * *
    4. Add subpart 1032.70 to read as follows:
Subpart 1032.70--Electronic Submission and Processing of Payment 
Requests


1032.7000  Scope of subpart.


1032.7001  Definitions.


1032.7002  Policy.


1032.7003  Contract clause.


1032.7000  Scope of subpart.

    This subpart prescribes policies and procedures for electronic 
submission and processing of payment requests.


1032.7001  Definitions.

    ``Payment request,'' as used in this subpart, is defined in the 
clause at 1052.232-7003, Electronic Submission of Payment Requests.


1032.7002  Policy.

    (a) Contracts awarded after October 1, 2012, shall require the 
electronic submission of payment requests, except for--
    (1) Purchases paid for with a Government-wide commercial purchase 
card;
    (2) Classified contracts or purchases when electronic submission 
and processing of payment requests could compromise classified 
information or national security;
    (b) Where a contract otherwise requires the electronic submission 
of invoices, the Contracting Officer may authorize alternate procedures 
only if the Contracting Officer makes a written determination that:
    (1) The Department of the Treasury is unable to receive electronic 
payment requests or provide acceptance electronically;
    (2) The contractor has demonstrated that electronic submission 
would be unduly burdensome; or
    (3) The contractor is in the process of transitioning to electronic 
submission of payment requests, but needs additional time to complete 
such transition. Authorizations granted on this basis must specify a 
date by which the contractor will transition to electronic submission
    (c) Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b), Treasury 
officials shall process electronic payment submissions through the 
Treasury Internet Payment Platform or successor system.
    (d) If the requirement for electronic submission of payment 
requests is waived under paragraph (a)(2) or paragraph (b), the 
contract or alternate payment authorization, as applicable, shall 
specify the form and method of payment request submission.


1032.7003  Contract clause.

    Except as provided in 1032.7002(a), use the clause at 1052.232-
7003, Electronic Submission of Payment Requests--Internet Payment 
Platform, in solicitations issued and contracts awarded after October 
1, 2011.
    5. Add section 1052.232-7003 to read as follows:


1052.232-7003  Electronic Submission of Payment Requests.

    As prescribed in 1032.7003, use the following clause:

Electronic Submission of Payment Requests (Date TBD)

    (a) Definitions. As used in this clause--
    (1) ``Payment request'' means a bill, voucher, invoice, or 
request for contract financing payment with associated supporting 
documentation. The payment request must comply with the requirements 
identified in FAR 32.905(b), ``Payment documentation and process'' 
and the applicable Payment clause included in this contract.
    (b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this clause, the 
Contractor shall submit payment requests electronically using the 
Internet Payment Platform (IPP). Information regarding IPP is 
available on the Internet at www.ipp.gov. Assistance with enrollment 
can be obtained by contacting the IPP Production Helpdesk via email 
ippgroup@bos.frb.org or phone (866) 973-3131.
    (c) The Contractor may submit payment requests using other than 
IPP only when the Contracting Officer authorizes alternate 
procedures in writing.
    (d) If alternate payment procedures are authorized, the 
Contractor shall include a copy of the Contracting Officer's written 
authorization with each payment request.


(End of clause)

    Dated: February 15, 2012
Thomas A. Sharpe, Jr.,
Senior Procurement Executive, Office of the Procurement Executive.
[FR Doc. 2012-4216 Filed 2-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-25-P