The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a bid protest decision regarding the application of the Berry Amendment’s domestic sourcing requirement to a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) solicitation for leather combat gloves with touchscreen capability.
In that decision, the GAO found that the nonavailability exception to the Berry Amendment applied to the glove’s kidskin leather even though the agency determined, through market research, that this type of leather was available domestically. Importantly, this decision provides an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the nuances associated with the Berry Amendment’s nonavailability exception and to reflect upon the complex regulatory landscape of domestic sourcing requirements.
Federal Government Domestic Sourcing Regimes and the Nonavailability Exception
Over the last 100 years, the U.S. government has enacted myriad domestic sourcing laws. For example, during the Great Depression, Congress enacted the Buy American Act (BAA) to “create jobs for American workers and protect American industry” by requiring the U.S. government, under certain circumstances, to procure items that have been mined, produced or manufactured in the United States. As implemented through the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and agency supplemental regulations, like the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), the BAA generally requires executive agencies to purchase “domestic end products” unless an exception or waiver applies.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.insidegovernmentcontracts.com/2019/01/domestic-sourcing-requirement-doesnt-fit-dods-gloves/