ANNOUNCEMENT 25 Nov 2013In November 2013, the government of the United States of America announced a change in the local input requirements for the participation in certain public purchases.
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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) gave notice in the Federal Register on November 25, 2013 (Vol.78 No.227) that it has granted two waivers to its Buy America policy. The law requires a domestic manufacturing process for steel or iron products that are permanently incorporated in a Federal-aid construction project. The regulation also provides for a waiver of the Buy America requirements when the application would be inconsistent with the public interest or when satisfactory quality domestic steel and iron products are not sufficiently available.
The FHWA found that a partial Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid program funds for the purchase of 378 light, medium, and heavy duty plug-in battery electric and compressed natural gas vehicles by the Chicago Department of Transit (DOT). It found that there are no domestic manufacturers that could meet a 100 percent domestic steel and iron content for these vehicles. The FHWA nonetheless believes that the vehicles should be assembled in the United States, and does not find that a complete waiver based on non-availability is appropriate. The agency states that a partial waiver that allows the Chicago DOT to purchase the vehicles so long as the final assembly of the vehicle as the end product occurs in the United States is appropriate. ''S'o long as the final assembly of the light, medium, and heavy duty plug-in battery electric and compressed natural gas vehicles occurs in the United States,' the agency concludes, 'Chicago DOT may proceed to purchase these vehicles consistent with the Buy America requirement.' The FHWA invites public comment on this finding for an additional 15 days following the effective date of the finding.
In another notice, the FHWA issued a finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate to use a non-domestic CNG Compressor/Controller for Kings County, California, based on its conclusion that there are no domestic manufacturers of the product in question. The agency invites public comment on this finding for an additional 15 days following the effective date of the finding.