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NPS wants more flexibility in extending concessions contracts

The National Park Service (NPS) wants to make several changes in its rules regarding concessions contracts. NPS announced in the Federal Register of Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 that it is proposing to amend its regulations. It is giving the public until Sept. 4 to comment on the proposed changes.

The proposed changes include deleting outdated procedures, updating references and clarifying an ambiguity. The proposed change would allow NPS to change the solicitation date or amend the proposal before or on the submission due date. The way the rule is currently written, it can be read to mean NPS can only change the proposal or date on the very day the submissions are due.

NPS is also proposing to give itself more flexibility regarding awarding temporary concessions contracts. The agency says it would only use this provision when extending a current contract is the only way to avoid interrupting visitor services. Current regulations limit NPS' power to do so. The current rules also refer to contracts that were in effect as of Nov. 13, 1998. All those contracts have expired so NPS wants to do away with the reference.

Usually, federal agencies provide a 60-day comment period for proposed rules. But NPS says it is offering only 30 days because otherwise it might not be able to implement the new rules when current contracts expire. The Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management & Budget already has determined the proposal is not “significant.”

If you wish to comment, refer to Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE22 and go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at Or send comments by U.S. Mail to Debra Hecox, Commercial Services Program, NPS, 12795 West Alameda Pkwy., Lakewood, CO 80228. If you have any questions, contact Jo Pendry, NPS acting chief of commercial services, at (202) 513-7156,

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