By Julian Hattem - 07/31/13 02:10 PM EDT
The Pentagon, NASA and General Services Administration are adopting a number of changes to federal acquisition rules.
Some of the changes implement the defense authorization bill, such as an update to the definition of “contingency operation” and removal of a sunset date for some protest orders, while others are part of sanctions against Iran and seek to standardize government performance evaluation for contractors.
The agencies are also issuing a new compliance guide for small businesses, amending rules for annual biobased reports and revising a list of designated “least developed countries” as determined by the U.S. Trade Representative.
The Interior Department wants to exempt some incident management records from scrutiny by the public. The department believes that some measures of the anti-secrecy law would harm national security or law enforcement efforts.
“Granting access to such information could seriously impede or compromise an investigation; endanger the physical safety of confidential sources, witnesses, and law enforcement personnel, as well as their families; lead to the improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction of evidence, or the fabrication of testimony; and disclose investigative techniques and procedures,” the department said in its proposal.
The Social Security Administration is replacing the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in its list of impairments affecting children and adults.
Agriculture and dairy:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking for comments on changes to rules for handlers and growers of some cherries in a handful of states.
The department is also adjusting regulations for tariffs charged to imports of dairy products.
Taxes and finance:
The Internal Revenue Service is finalizing rules on some income tax deduction limitations for taxpayers using a reimbursement arrangement.
Separately, the Securities and Exchange Committee is finalizing regulations to allow its enforcement division director to appoint administrators in some administrative proceedings.
Highways and pipelines:
The Transportation Department wants to change the type of proposals required before highways can be built.
Additionally, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is asking the public to comment on whether gas pipelines’ integrity management programs need to be updated.
The Small Business Administration is proposing to align a bond guarantee program to provisions of the 2013 defense authorization act.
The Bureau of Land Management is updating its rules to reflect a new address at an office in New Mexico.