Half of Navy Contracts Violate Buy American Rules

Monday, September 14, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

A new report (pdf) from the Pentagon’s inspector general (IG) found that the Navy has ignored domestic preference laws known as the Buy American Act (pdf) and the Berry Amendment.


The Buy American Act mandates the federal government give preference to products made in the U.S. when it makes bulk purchases of more than $3,000. Similarly, the Berry Amendment says the Pentagon can’t buy products such as clothing and textiles outside of the U.S. when the purchases are at least $150,000.


The IG, however, found that nearly half of the Navy contracts it reviewed violated the Berry Amendment, and a third of another sampling of contracts violated the Buy American Act. Many of the foreign-sourced items purchased were hand and measuring tools, such as crescent wrenches, according to the report. Another item that came to the IG’s attention was foreign-made synthetic fiber to be used in bulletproof vests.


The IG found that it was likely that those violating the laws requiring the purchase of American-made products were unclear on the regulations’ scope.


Spencer Brignac of the Project on Government Oversight noted that a previous IG report revealed that a review of 50 U.S. Army contracts found about half of them violated the Buy American Act.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

DoD Buying Everywhere but America (by Spencer Brignac, Project on Government Oversight)

Naval Personnel Can Improve Compliance with the Berry Amendment and the Buy American Act (Department of Defense Inspector General) (pdf)

Top Navy Officials Arrested in Bribery Scandal Involving Prostitutes, Cash, and Lady Gaga Tickets (by Danny Biederman and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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