General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR); Architect-Engineer Selection Procedures

CourtGeneral Services Administration
Citation86 FR 72193
Record Number2021-27444
Publication Date21 December 2021
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 242 (Tuesday, December 21, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 242 (Tuesday, December 21, 2021)]
                [Rules and Regulations]
                [Pages 72193-72194]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-27444]
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                GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
                48 CFR Part 536
                [GSAR Case 2015-G505; Docket No. GSA-GSAR 2021-0029; Sequence No. 1]
                RIN 3090-AJ65
                General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR);
                Architect-Engineer Selection Procedures
                AGENCY: 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 remove text from the GSAR regarding internal
                architect-engineer selection procedures and move it into the General
                Services Administration Acquisition Manual (GSAM).
                DATES: Effective January 20, 2022.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Liam Skinner or Mr. Bryon Boyer at
                817-850-5580 or [email protected], for clarification of content. For
                [[Page 72194]]
                information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the
                Regulatory Secretariat at 202-501-4755. Please cite GSAR Case 2015-
                G505.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                I. Background
                 As part of GSA's regulatory reform efforts, GSA identified internal
                agency guidance on architect/engineer selection procedures in the
                General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) that are
                non-regulatory. The on-going clean up of the GSAR presents the
                opportunity to move this text into internal agency acquisition
                guidance, the General Services Administration Acquisition Manual
                (GSAM). Thus, the Fall 2017 edition of the Unified Agenda of Federal
                Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions in the Federal Register at 83 FR
                1664 on January 12, 2018, notes GSA's intention to publish a final rule
                in the Federal Register to remove this language from the GSAR and add
                it to the non-regulatory GSAM.
                II. Authority for This Rulemaking
                 Title 40 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 121 authorizes
                GSA to issue regulations, including the GSAR, to control the
                relationship between GSA and contractors.
                III. Discussion and Analysis
                 Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 1.301(a)(2) provides an agency
                head the ability to issue or authorize the issuance of internal agency
                guidance at any organizational level (e.g., designations and
                delegations of authority, assignments of responsibilities, work-flow
                procedures, and internal reporting requirements). Furthermore, FAR
                1.301(b) states that publication for public comment is not required for
                issuances under FAR 1.301(a)(2).
                 GSA's implementation and supplementation of the FAR is issued in
                the GSAM, which includes the GSAR. The GSAR contains policies and
                procedures that have a significant effect beyond the internal operating
                procedures of GSA or a significant effect beyond the internal operating
                procedures of GSA or a significant cost or administrative impact on
                contractors or offerors (see FAR 1.301(b)). Relevant procedures,
                guidance, instruction, and information that do not meet this criteria
                are issued through the non-regulatory portion of the GSAM and other GSA
                publications.
                 As a part of GSA's comprehensive review of its regulatory
                requirements in the GSAR, internal agency guidance was identified
                within GSAR Part 536 that could be moved to GSA's non-regulatory
                acquisition policy of the GSAM. This internal guidance does not have a
                significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of GSA or a
                significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors
                (see FAR 1.301(b)). As a result, this action represents an
                administrative clean-up to remove internal agency guidance from the
                GSAR and move it to GSA's non-regulatory acquisition policy. Moving
                this language from GSAR to GSAM allows for future updates to be easier
                and more efficient, allowing for the section to stay up to date with
                current procedures.
                 The amendments to GSAR part 536 are minor and reflect needed
                changes to have language reflect current practice.
                IV. 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 rule has been reviewed and determined by the Office of Management
                and Budget (OMB) not to be a significant regulatory action and,
                therefore, was not subject to review under section 6(b) of Executive
                Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993.
                V. Congressional Review Act
                 The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as amended by
                the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996,
                generally provides that before a ``major rule'' may take effect, the
                agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes
                a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the
                Comptroller General of the United States. A major rule cannot take
                effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.
                 This rule has been reviewed and determined by OMB not to be a
                ``major rule'' under 5 U.S.C. 804(2).
                VI. Notice for Public Comment
                 The statute that applies to the publication of the GSAR is the
                Office of Federal Procurement Policy statute (codified at title 41 of
                the United States Code). Specifically, 41 U.S.C. 1707(a)(1) requires
                that a procurement policy, regulation, procedure or form (including an
                amendment or modification thereof) must be published for public comment
                if it relates to the expenditure of appropriated funds, and has either
                a significant effect beyond the internal operating procedures of the
                agency issuing the policy, regulation, procedure, or form, or has a
                significant cost or administrative impact on contractors or offerors.
                This rule is not required to be published for public comment, because
                it does not have a significant effect or impose any new requirements on
                contractors or offers, the rule merely removes internal agency guidance
                from regulatory, to non-regulatory authority.
                VII. Regulatory Flexibility Act
                 The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) does not
                apply to this rule, because an opportunity for public comment is not
                required to be given for this rule under 41 U.S.C. 1707(a)(1) (see
                Section VI. of this preamble). Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility
                analysis is required and none has been prepared.
                VIII. Paperwork Reduction Act
                 The final rule does not contain any information collection
                requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and
                Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).
                List of Subjects in 48 CFR Part 536
                 Government procurement.
                Jeffrey Koses,
                Senior Procurement Executive, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of
                Government-wide Policy, General Services Administration.
                 Therefore, GSA amends 48 CFR part 536 as set forth below:
                PART 536--CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS
                0
                1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 536 continues to read as
                follows:
                 Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c).
                Subpart 536.6 [Removed and Reserved]
                0
                2. Remove and reserve subpart 536.6, consisting of sections 536.602 and
                536.602-1.
                [FR Doc. 2021-27444 Filed 12-20-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 6820-61-P
                

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