The Department of Transportation (DOT) has extended its contracting initiative pilot program, which became effective on March 6, 2015, for a period of 5 years. Under the pilot program, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recipients and subrecipients can utilize contracting requirements that are generally disallowed because of concerns about adverse impacts on competition. The pilot program, which was established to collect data on whether such requirements (like local hire preferences) "unduly limit competition," has gathered only limited data so far. Its extension will enable DOT to gather more data, and will give FHWA and FTA recipients and subrecipients the flexibility to continue to operate under the program.
Proposed Rule to Promote Acquisition of Sustainable Products, Services, and Construction Methods
On January 18, 2017, DoD, GSA, and NASA issued a proposed rule to promote the acquisition of sustainable products, services, and construction methods to reduce energy and water consumption and reliance on natural resources, and enhance pollution prevention. The proposed rule would affect numerous parts of the FAR, to include:
- FAR Parts 7 and 11, which would be updated to reflect sustainability factors to be considered in acquisitions, and add guidance to ensure agencies are aware they must acquire sustainable products and services to the maximum extent practicable;
- FAR Part 23, which would note that sustainable acquisition prescriptions apply to construction and services contracts that require the supply or use of products falling within the sustainable products categories;
- FAR Part 36, which would delete the FY 2015 deadline for meeting the goal to divert at least 50 percent of construction and demolition debris;
- FAR Part 39, which would incorporate EPA-recommended specifications, standards, or labels for environmentally sustainable electronic products; and
- FAR Part 52, which would add new clauses for sustainable products and services requirements.
This proposed rule is open for comments until March 20, 2017. We will keep you updated on its progress.