Buy American Act Domestic Component Threshold Gets A Raise

A new FAR final rule recently went into effect that has increased the percentage for the domestic component requirement under the Buy American Act, a percentage that had been in place for nearly 70 years before this recent change.

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Buy American Act Executive Order Promises Much, Will it Deliver?

The White House has released the final language of the Buy America Act. Our recent post looked forward to what we could expect from the final rule. Now the rule has been released, so what is in it?

The executive order promises quite a bit, and a lot of what is promised we will likely not see until 6 to 12 months down the road.

Here is what to expect now, in 6 months, and then down the road.

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Five Things to Look for in Executive Order Strengthening Buy American Act

As we have blogged about previously, the Buy American Act has a number of exceptions and waivers. The United States spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year in contracting alone. The Buy American Act is intended to keep federal dollars in the hands of American companies and manufacturers. The president’s new executive order on these issues, proposes making some significant changes to not only the rule, but to oversight.

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Raising the Roofs . . . and Floors: Acquisition Thresholds in the Time of Emergency

As many contractors have heard, the President declared a state of emergency under the Stafford Act. What will this mean for acquisitions conducted while the COVID-19 emergency continues?

In this post, I’ll dig into some contractor-specific effects of that declaration: modifying the micro-purchase, simplified acquisition, and commercial purchase acquisition thresholds.

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GAO: Trade Agreements Act Inapplicable to Small Business Set-Asides

It’s no secret that federal government contracting has the reputation of being a seemingly endless morass of regulations. In fact, the confusion frequently associated with federal contracting was on full display in a recent GAO protest that implicated the SBA’s nonmanufacturer rule, the Buy American Act, and the Trade Agreements Act. In a procurement that invited bids from both large and small businesses, a large business contractor argued that the application of certain small business contracting regulations would unfairly advantage the small business participants.

GAO disagreed, and dismissed the protest because any advantage was the result of the regulations operating as intended. Sometimes it pays to be a small business.

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GAO Investigates Buy American Act Exceptions and Waivers

The Buy American Act includes a number of waivers and exceptions. The Section 809 panel, for one, has called for expanding these exceptions, at least for the DOD. A recent GAO report examines how agencies apply the existing waivers and exceptions to the Buy American Act.

GAO’s general opinion is that agencies should improve their Buy American Act data reporting and enhance training on its waivers and for procument personnel. The report also provides some interesting details about the scope of the Buy American Act, and how agencies implement it.

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Section 809 Panel Recommends Changes to Domestic Purchase Preferences

The Section 809 panel is the Congressionally-mandated group that has made a number of far-reaching recommendations to change current programs that affect DOD acquisitions.

Another one of their ideas is to eliminate certain domestic purchasing preferences by having Congress create exceptions for DOD purchases and create a public interest exception for the Berry Amendment. The panel’s concern is that the purchasing restrictions can result in higher prices, reduced volume, or delivery delays.

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