Proposed FAR Rule
General Service Administration (GSA) is launching a new program to help businesses with federal procurement called SAM (System for Award Management). This new program will combine eight federal procurement systems and the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system (SAM). The latest information has the system becoming available the first quarter of 2012. To be the first to sign up for this innovative system, go to www.sam.gov and read about all the benefits for your company.
DoD, GSA and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to limit the section of the FAR addressing the priorities for use of Government supply sources to a discussion of the mandatory Government sources of supplies and services (FAR Case 2009-024; Prioritizing Sources of Supplies and Services for Use by the Government; published in the Federal Register, June 14, 2011). Also, a new section is added to encourage agencies to give priority consideration to using certain sources, despite the fact that the use of the listed sources is not mandatory.
Comments are due on or before August 15, 2011. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. Any agency comments must be submitted through your agency
Do You Export?
Incoterms (International Commercial terms) are a set of 13 standardized definitions of commonly used shipping and trade terms. These terms were updated in 2010. The update should improve cargo security and keeps up with the new trends in global shipping. Government vendors involved in exporting and importing—trade organizations, export specialists, custom brokers, freight forwards, insurers, international credit professionals—should be familiar with the latest version of Incoterms. Using the incorrect set could cause confusion and risks between buyers and sellers. To purchase a copy of Incoterms® 2010, visit the International Code Council.
The 13 Incoterms:
EXW: EX Works
Main Carriage Not Paid by Seller
FCA: Free Carrier
FAS: Free Alongside Ship
FOB: Free On Board
Main Carriage Paid by Seller
CFR: Cost and Freight
CIF: Cost, Insurance and Freight
CPT: Carriage Paid To
CIP: Carriage and Insurance Paid to
DAF: Delivered At Frontier
DES: Delivered Ex Ship
DEQ: Delivered Ex Quay
DDU: Delivered Duty Unpaid
DDP: Delivered Duty Paid
DoD Textile and Apparel Procurement Fairness Act
Representatives Larry Kissell (D-NC) and Walter Jones (R-NC) have proposed bill H.R. 2312, amending title 10, which allows DoD to purchase textile and apparel products from Federal Prison Industries. If passed, this federal prison industry contracting advantage would end and open the door to other businesses that sell military uniforms, camouflage, training gear and combat footwear.
In a press release, Kissell stated that he supports prison programs. He believes title 10 gives the Federal Prison Industry an unfair contracting advantage especially to small businesses.
We are not talking about pennies and dimes. In 2010, DoD spent over $2 billion in textile and apparel. Twenty-four federal prisons accounted for $140 million of contract dollars. Not a huge percent, however, in this economy and the outlook of some small businesses, this is a fairness that they can give them potential contracts.
The bill states that DoD is prohibited from purchasing textiles or apparel products for which Federal Prison Industries has a significant market share. And the FPI may not submit offers for DoD contracts that are set aside for small businesses.
Kevin Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, released the following statement:
"As we explore every option to create and sustain jobs in the United States, our government should not put the employment of federal inmates over the employment of hardworking taxpayers."
NACM-GBG will be watching H.R. 2312 and will keep its members updated on the subject.
U.S. Treasury Mandates E-Invoicing from Bureaus and Suppliers
The U.S. Treasury announced yesterday that it is mandating that all Treasury bureaus implement electronic invoicing by the end of the 2012 fiscal year. Moreover, in fiscal year 2013, the Treasury will require all of its commercial vendors to submit their invoices using electronic means only.
The government's invoice processing solution of choice will be the Internet Payment Platform (IPP), which several other federal agencies like the Small Business Administration (SBA) and, most recently, the Social Security Administration (SSA) have been using since November 2007.
In the announcement, the Treasury noted that the e-invoicing mandate will apply to the department, meaning that it will apply to the Treasury itself and to its many bureaus. IPP is actually supported by the Treasury Financial Management Service (TFMS), a bureau existing beneath Treasury’s umbrella, but now, IPP will be adopted by the department’s remaining bureaus, which are the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Bureau of Public Debt, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Financial Management Service, the Inspector General, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the U.S. Mint and the Departmental Offices. All of these will have to implement IPP and begin processing invoices electronically by the end of FY2012. Suppliers and sellers to these bureaus and agencies will have to submit their invoices via IPP by FY2013.
"Electronic invoicing will mean lower costs for taxpayers and faster payments for private sector companies doing business with the federal government," said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin. "Treasury is continuing to move forward to identify innovative ways to use technology to cut waste and improve efficiency."
IPP, as both an invoicing tool and a processing tool, offers the federal government the same advantages that a similar electronic system would offer to a company and its customers. IPP is expected to reduce Treasury's invoice processing costs by 50% and save approximately $7 million annually, while offering vendors who use IPP the advantage of faster payments for their services, greater assurances that their invoices are received and processed accurately, and immediate online access to their invoice status for all agencies using IPP.
"The U.S. Treasury’s announcement today is another positive step as we work toward improved government efficiency and transparency, and overall better governance," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management. "As we work to rein in our massive federal debt and deficit, we have to look in every nook and cranny of the federal government to find ways to save taxpayer money while still delivering the services that Americans need and expect from the government."
Jacob Barron, NACM staff writer