Subpart 25.6 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Buy American statute Construction Materials
25.600 Scope of subpart.
This subpart implements section 1605 in Division A of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-5) (Recovery Act) with regard to manufactured construction material and the 41 U.S.C. chapter 83, Buy American (referred to in this subpart as the Buy American statute) with regard to unmanufactured construction material. It applies to construction projects that use funds appropriated or otherwise provided by the Recovery Act.
As used in this subpart
“Domestic construction material” means the following:
(1) An unmanufactured construction material mined or produced in the United States. (The Buy American statute applies.)
(2) A manufactured construction material that is manufactured in the United States and, if the construction material consists wholly or predominantly of iron or steel, the iron or steel was produced in the United States. (Section 1605 of the Recovery Act applies.)
“Foreign construction material” means a construction material other than a domestic construction material.
“Manufactured construction material” means any construction material that is not unmanufactured construction material.
“Public building or public work” means a building or work, the construction, prosecution, completion, or repair of which is carried on directly or indirectly by authority of, or with funds of, a Federal agency to serve the interest of the general public regardless of whether title thereof is in a Federal agency (see 22.401). These buildings and works may include, without limitation, bridges, dams, plants, highways, parkways, streets, subways, tunnels, sewers, mains, power lines, pumping stations, heavy generators, railways, airports, terminals, docks, piers, wharves, ways, lighthouses, buoys, jetties, breakwaters, levees, and canals, and the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of such buildings and works.
“Recovery Act designated country” means a World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement country, a Free Trade Agreement country, or a least developed country.
“Steel” means an alloy that includes at least 50 percent iron, between .02 and 2 percent carbon, and may include other elements.
“Unmanufactured construction material” means raw material brought to the construction site for incorporation into the building or work that has not been
(1) Processed into a specific form and shape; or
(2) Combined with other raw material to create a material that has different properties than the properties of the individual raw materials.
25.602-1 Section 1605 of the Recovery Act.
Except as provided in 25.603
(a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Recovery Act may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public building or public work unless the public building or public work is located in the United States and
(1) All of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used as construction material in the project are produced or manufactured in the United States.
(i) All manufactured construction material must be manufactured in the United States.
(ii) Iron or steel components.
(A) Iron or steel components of construction material consisting wholly or predominantly of iron or steel must be produced in the United States. This does not restrict the origin of the elements of the iron or steel, but requires that all manufacturing processes of the iron or steel must take place in the United States, except metallurgical processes involving refinement of steel additives.
(B) The requirement in paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(A) of this section does not apply to iron or steel components or subcomponents in construction material that does not consist wholly or predominantly of iron or steel.
(iii) All other components. There is no restriction on the origin or place of production or manufacture of components or subcomponents that do not consist of iron or steel.
(A) If a steel guardrail consists predominantly of steel, even though coated with aluminum, then the steel would be subject to the section 1605 restriction requiring that all stages of production of the steel occur in the United States, in addition to the requirement to manufacture the guardrail in the United States. There would be no restrictions on the other components of the guardrail.
(B) If a wooden window frame is delivered to the site as a single construction material, there is no restriction on any of the components, including the steel lock on the window frame; or
(2) If trade agreements apply, the manufactured construction material shall either comply with the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this subsection, or be wholly the product of or be substantially transformed in a Recovery Act designated country;
(b) Manufactured materials purchased directly by the Government and delivered to the site for incorporation into the project shall meet the same domestic source requirements as specified for manufactured construction material in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section; and
(c) A project may include several contracts, a single contract, or one or more line items on a contract.
25.602-2 Buy American statute
Except as provided in 25.603, use only unmanufactured construction material mined or produced in the United States, as required by the Buy American statute or, if trade agreements apply, unmanufactured construction material mined or produced in a designated country may also be used.
(a)(1) When one of the following exceptions applies, the contracting officer may allow the contractor to incorporate foreign manufactured construction materials without regard to the restrictions of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or foreign unmanufactured construction material without regard to the restrictions of the Buy American statute:
(i) Nonavailability. The head of the contracting activity may determine that a particular construction material is not mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities of a satisfactory quality. The determinations of nonavailability of the articles listed at 25.104(a) and the procedures at 25.103(b)(1) also apply if any of those articles are acquired as construction materials.
(ii) Unreasonable cost. The contracting officer concludes that the cost of domestic construction material is unreasonable in accordance with 25.605.
(iii) Inconsistent with public interest. The head of the agency may determine that application of the restrictions of section 1605 of the Recovery Act to a particular manufactured construction material, or the restrictions of the Buy American statute to a particular unmanufactured construction material would be inconsistent with the public interest.
(2) In addition, the head of the agency may determine that application of the Buy American statute to a particular unmanufactured construction material would be impracticable.
(b) Determinations. When a determination is made, for any of the reasons stated in this section, that certain foreign construction materials may be used
(1) The contracting officer shall list the excepted materials in the contract; and
(2) For determinations with regard to the inapplicability of section 1605 of the Recovery Act, unless the construction material has already been determined to be domestically nonavailable (see list at 25.104), the head of the agency shall provide a notice to the Federal Register within three business days after the determination is made, with a copy to the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy and to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. The notice shall include
(i) The title “Buy American Exception under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”;
(ii) The dollar value and brief description of the project; and
(iii) A detailed justification as to why the restriction is being waived.
(c) Acquisitions under trade agreements.
(1) For construction contracts with an estimated acquisition value of $7,358,000 or more, also see subpart 25.4. Offers proposing the use of construction material from a designated country shall receive equal consideration with offers proposing the use of domestic construction material.
(2) For purposes of applying section 1605 of the Recovery Act to evaluation of manufactured construction material, designated countries do not include the Caribbean Basin Countries.
25.604 Preaward determination concerning the inapplicability of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or the Buy American statute.
(a) For any acquisition, an offeror may request from the contracting officer a determination concerning the inapplicability of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or the Buy American statute for specifically identified construction materials. The time for submitting the request is specified in the solicitation in paragraph (b) of either 52.225-22 or 52.225-24, whichever applies. The information and supporting data that must be included in the request are also specified in the solicitation in paragraphs (c) and (d) of either 52.225-21 or 52.225-23, whichever applies.
(b) Before award, the contracting officer must evaluate all requests based on the information provided and may supplement this information with other readily available information.
(c) Determination based on unreasonable cost of domestic construction material.
(1) Manufactured construction material. The contracting officer must compare the offered price of the contract using foreign manufactured construction material (i.e., any construction material not manufactured in the United States, or construction material consisting predominantly of iron or steel and the iron or steel is not produced in the United States) to the estimated price if all domestic manufactured construction material were used. If use of domestic manufactured construction material would increase the overall offered price of the contract by more than 25 percent, then the contracting officer shall determine that the cost of the domestic manufactured construction material is unreasonable
(2) Unmanufactured construction material. The contracting officer must compare the cost of each foreign unmanufactured construction material to the cost of domestic unmanufactured construction material. If the cost of the domestic unmanufactured construction material exceeds the cost of the foreign unmanufactured construction material by more than 6 percent, then the contracting officer shall determine that the cost of the domestic unmanufactured construction material is unreasonable.
25.605 Evaluating offers of foreign construction material.
(a) If the contracting officer has determined that an exception applies because the cost of certain domestic construction material is unreasonable, in accordance with section 25.604, then the contracting officer shall apply evaluation factors to the offer incorporating the use of such foreign construction material as follows:
(1) Use an evaluation factor of 25 percent, applied to the total offered price of the contract, if foreign manufactured construction material is incorporated in the offer based on an exception for unreasonable cost of comparable domestic construction material requested by the offeror.
(2) In addition, use an evaluation factor of 6 percent applied to the cost of foreign unmanufactured construction material incorporated in the offer based on an exception for unreasonable cost of comparable domestic unmanufactured construction material requested by the offeror.
(3) Total evaluated price = offered price + (.25 x offered price, if (a)(1) applies) + (.06 x cost of foreign unmanufactured construction material, if (a)(2) applies).
(b) If the solicitation specifies award on the basis of factors in addition to cost or price, apply the evaluation factors as specified in paragraph (a) of this section and use the evaluated price in determining the offer that represents the best value to the Government
(c) Unless paragraph (b) applies, if two or more offers are equal in price, the contracting officer must give preference to an offer that does not include foreign construction material excepted at the request of the offeror on the basis of unreasonable cost.
(d) Offerors also may submit alternate offers based on use of equivalent domestic construction material to avoid possible rejection of the entire offer if the Government determines that an exception permitting use of a particular foreign construction material does not apply.
(e) If the contracting officer awards a contract to an offeror that proposed foreign construction material not listed in the applicable clause in the solicitation (paragraph (b)(3) of 52.225-21, or paragraph (b)(3) of 52.225-23), the contracting officer must add the excepted materials to the list in the contract clause.
25.606 Postaward determinations.
(a) If a contractor requests a determination regarding the inapplicability of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or the Buy American statute after contract award, the contractor must explain why it could not request the determination before contract award or why the need for such determination otherwise was not reasonably foreseeable. If the contracting officer concludes that the contractor should have made the request before contract award, the contracting officer may deny the request.
(b) The contracting officer must base evaluation of any request for a determination regarding the inapplicability of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or the Buy American statute made after contract award on information required by paragraphs (c) and (d) of the applicable clause at 52.225-21 or 52.225-23 and/or other readily available information.
(c) If a determination, under 25.603(a), is made after contract award that an exception to section 1605 of the Recovery Act or to the Buy American statute applies, the contracting officer must negotiate adequate consideration and modify the contract to allow use of the foreign construction material. When the basis for the exception is the unreasonable cost of a domestic construction material, adequate consideration is at least the differential established in 25.605(a).
The contracting officer must
(a) Review allegations of violations of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or Buy American statute;
(b) Unless fraud is suspected, notify the contractor of the apparent unauthorized use of foreign construction material and request a reply, to include proposed corrective action; and
(c) If the review reveals that a contractor or subcontractor has used foreign construction material without authorization, take appropriate action, including one or more of the following:
(1) Process a determination concerning the inapplicability of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or the Buy American statute in accordance with 25.606.
(2) Consider requiring the removal and replacement of the unauthorized foreign construction material.
(3) If removal and replacement of foreign construction material incorporated in a building or work would be impracticable, cause undue delay, or otherwise be detrimental to the interests of the Government, the contracting officer may determine in writing that the foreign construction material need not be removed and replaced. A determination to retain foreign construction material does not constitute a determination that an exception to section 1605 of the Recovery Act or the Buy American statute applies, and this should be stated in the determination. Further, a determination to retain foreign construction material does not affect the Government’s right to suspend or debar a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier for violation of section 1605 of the Recovery Act or the Buy American statute, or to exercise other contractual rights and remedies, such as reducing the contract price or terminating the contract for default.
(4) If the noncompliance is sufficiently serious, consider exercising appropriate contractual remedies, such as terminating the contract for default. Also consider preparing and forwarding a report to the agency suspending or debarring official in accordance with subpart 9.4. If the noncompliance appears to be fraudulent, refer the matter to other appropriate agency officials, such as the agency’s inspector general or the officer responsible for criminal investigation.