Urban Mass Transportation Administration's Enforcement of Buy America Provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act

T-RCED-88-33: Published: May 12, 1988. Publicly Released: May 12, 1988.

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GAO discussed the Urban Mass Transportation Administration's (UMTA) monitoring and enforcement of Buy American provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. GAO noted that: (1) UMTA, grantees, and third-party contractors have misinterpreted the complex provisions, particularly in terms of definitional differences between manufacture and assembly and components and subcomponents; (2) Congress amended the act in 1987 to clarify compliance requirements; (3) UMTA disseminated its legal rulings on regulations to regional offices but did not require the offices to disseminate the rulings to grantees; (4) UMTA compliance monitoring consisted of inspector general audits, independent audits of grantees, third-party complaints, triennial reviews, project management oversight, and preaward and post-delivery audits; (5) UMTA did not publish regulations implementing preaward and post-delivery audit requirements; and (6) UMTA lacked specific guidance for enforcement options in noncompliance cases. GAO believes that UMTA needs to: (1) routinely disseminate its legal rulings on Buy American provisions to all grantees; (2) become involved in preaward audits; and (3) establish more precise guidelines for use of enforcement options for noncompliance.

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