On January 13, 2022 the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its Final Rule governing the implementation of the Buy Indian Act (Act). This rule clarifies the preference for Indian-owned and controlled businesses and removes barriers by alleviating unnecessary regulatory burdens. If you’re a frequent visitor to our blogs, you may be thinking, “wait what, didn’t you just blog about this last November?” Actually, the subject of the blog about the Buy Indian Act from November was the proposed rules governing the Buy Indian Act issued by the Department of Interior (DOI) covering procurements of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). HHS’s Final Rules issued on January 13th (Final Rule) supplement and amend regulations guiding implementation of the Buy Indian Act for procurements by the Indian Health Service (IHS).
Given the long scattershot implementation of the Buy Indian Act, how the Act it is applied to different agencies, the multiple notices of proposed changes to the Buy Indian Act, along with the general decentralized structure of procurement regulations, it can all be a bit confusing. A bit of background may help to put it all in context.Continue reading