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April 23, 2012

Amended Federal Regulation Will Require Contractors to Report Purchase of Biobased Products

Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 18, 2012, the United States Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) promulgated a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement changes due to the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act that require contractors to report the biobased products purchased under service and construction contracts.  According to the Federal Register notice, the reporting will enable agencies to monitor compliance with the federal preference for purchasing biobased products. The information reported by prime contractors will enable federal agencies to report annually information concerning actions taken to implement the preference for biobased products, and assess compliance and measure progress in carrying out the preference for biobased products.  Where information on the biobased nature of products is not already available, the notice states that contractors may need to create an inventory management system to track the product types and dollar value of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-designated biobased products purchased for each contract.  DoD, GSA, and NASA expect that the impact will be minimal, however, because the existing clause already requires contractors to make maximum use of biobased products. The final rule will be effective May 18, 2012.