41 U.S. Code § 1304 - Contract clauses and certifications

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(a) Repetitive Nonstandard Contract Clauses Discouraged.— The Council shall prescribe regulations to discourage the use of a nonstandard contract clause on a repetitive basis. The regulations shall include provisions that—
(1) clearly define what types of contract clauses are to be treated as nonstandard clauses; and
(2) require prior approval for the use of a nonstandard clause on a repetitive basis by an official at a level of responsibility above the contracting officer.
(b) When Certification Required.—
(1) By law.— A provision of law may not be construed as requiring a certification by a contractor or offeror in a procurement made or to be made by the Federal Government unless that provision of law specifically provides that such a certification shall be required.
(2) In federal acquisition regulation.— A requirement for a certification by a contractor or offeror may not be included in the Federal Acquisition Regulation unless—
(A) the certification requirement is specifically imposed by statute; or
(B) written justification for the certification requirement is provided to the Administrator by the Council and the Administrator approves in writing the inclusion of the certification requirement.
(3) Executive agency procurement regulation.—
(A) Definition.— In subparagraph (B), the term “head of the executive agency” with respect to a military department means the Secretary of Defense.
(B) When certification requirement may be included in regulation.— A requirement for a certification by a contractor or offeror may not be included in a procurement regulation of an executive agency unless—
(i) the certification requirement is specifically imposed by statute; or
(ii) written justification for the certification requirement is provided to the head of the executive agency by the senior procurement executive of the agency and the head of the executive agency approves in writing the inclusion of the certification requirement.

Source

(Pub. L. 111–350, § 3,Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3693.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
1304(a)
41:425(a).
Pub. L. 93–400, § 29, as added Pub. L. 103–355, title I, § 1093, Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3273; Pub. L. 104–106, title XLIII, § 4301(b)(2)(A), (c), Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 657, 658.
1304(b)(1)
41:425(b).
1304(b)(2), (3)
41:425(c).

Current Certification Requirements

Pub. L. 104–106, div. D, title XLIII, § 4301(b)(1),Feb. 10, 1996, 110 Stat. 656, provided that:
“(A) Not later than 210 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Feb. 10, 1996], the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy shall issue for public comment a proposal to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to remove from the Federal Acquisition Regulation certification requirements for contractors and offerors that are not specifically imposed by statute. The Administrator may omit such a certification requirement from the proposal only if—
“(i) the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council provides the Administrator with a written justification for the requirement and a determination that there is no less burdensome means for administering and enforcing the particular regulation that contains the certification requirement; and
“(ii) the Administrator approves in writing the retention of the certification requirement.
“(B)(i) Not later than 210 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head of each executive agency that has agency procurement regulations containing one or more certification requirements for contractors and offerors that are not specifically imposed by statute shall issue for public comment a proposal to amend the regulations to remove the certification requirements. The head of the executive agency may omit such a certification requirement from the proposal only if—
“(I) the senior procurement executive for the executive agency provides the head of the executive agency with a written justification for the requirement and a determination that there is no less burdensome means for administering and enforcing the particular regulation that contains the certification requirement; and
“(II) the head of the executive agency approves in writing the retention of such certification requirement.
“(ii) For purposes of clause (i), the term ‘head of the executive agency’ with respect to a military department means the Secretary of Defense.”
Addressing Tax Delinquency by Government Contractors

Memorandum of President of the United States, Jan. 20, 2010, 75 F.R. 3979, provided:
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
The Federal Government pays more than half a trillion dollars a year to contractors and has an important obligation to protect American taxpayer money and the integrity of the Federal acquisition process. Yet reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) state that Federal contracts are awarded to tens of thousands of companies with serious tax delinquencies. The total amount in unpaid taxes owed by these contracting companies is estimated to be more than $5 billion.
Too often, Federal contracting officials do not have the most basic information they need to make informed judgments about whether a company trying to win a Federal contract is delinquent in paying its taxes. We need to give our contracting officials the tools they need to protect taxpayer dollars.
Accordingly, I hereby direct the Commissioner of Internal Revenue (Commissioner) to direct a review of certifications of non-delinquency in taxes that companies bidding for Federal contracts are required to submit pursuant to a 2008 amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation. I further direct that the Commissioner report to me within 90 days on the overall accuracy of contractors’ certifications.
I also direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, working with the Secretary of the Treasury and other agency heads, to evaluate practices of contracting officers and debarring officials in response to contractors’ certifications of serious tax delinquencies and to provide me, within 90 days, recommendations on process improvements to ensure these contractors are not awarded new contracts, including a plan to make contractor certifications available in a Government-wide database, as is already being done with other information on contractors.
Executive departments and agencies shall carry out the provisions of this memorandum to the extent permitted by law. This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
Barack Obama.

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

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41 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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