New regs for Friday: Defense acquisition rules

Defense acquisition:
The Department of Defense, along with NASA and the General Services Administration, is finalizing a baker's dozen of new rules on acquisition and contracting.

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The new rules clarify responsibilities of the contracting officer, remove the limits on money set aside for economically challenged women-owned small business programs, set minimum requirements for private security and eliminate a requirement that Congress be notified if acquisitioned products are manufactured outside the country. 

The agencies are also publishing a summary of rules agreed to by a civilian acquisition council and a compliance guide for small entities. 

Rules are being finalized to implement the U.S.-Panama trade agreement, add requirements to nondefense agencies that acquire supplies and services on behalf of the Defense Department, clarify the use of a price analysis method, combine a series of databases and make editorial changes

Finally, the departments are issuing an interim rule to address concerns about social media applications and delete references to an accounting standard. 

Plants:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing to consolidate its rules for permitting the import and movement of certain plants and honeybees. "These changes would make our permit procedures more transparent and easier to use, allow us to evaluate a permit application more quickly and thoroughly, and help us hold permittees accountable for complying with permit conditions," the department said in its proposal. 

Pesticides:
The Environmental Protection Agency is settling a tolerance for residues of the pesticide cyproconazole, which prevents decay from fungi, on peanut products.  

Communications:
The Office of Management and Budget has approved Federal Communications Commission (FCC) managers to gather information about commercial radio licenses for the next three years. 

The FCC is extending the deadline for comments on a February proposal to amend rules on certain unlicensed devices in the 5GHz band. 

Fishing:
The National Marine Fisheries Service is implementing regulations for recreational catching of flounder, scup, and sea bass and proposing to eliminate some requirements for Gulf of Mexico fishing.