Buy American Act

GGD-97-20R: Published: Dec 13, 1996. Publicly Released: Dec 13, 1996.

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J. William Gadsby
(202) 512-8387


Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the applicability of the Buy American Act to procurements made by the Library of Congress, focusing on: (1) an overview of the Buy American Act; (2) the Library's compliance with the Buy American Act for the two contracts reported in the press; and (3) the adequacy of the Library's contracting procedures relating to the Buy American Act, including GAO's views on whether certain contract offers should be looked at more closely in regard to the act. GAO noted that: (1) the Buy American Act, with several exceptions, generally requires federal agencies to give preference to domestically produced end products over foreign end products in their procurements; (2) the act does not apply to contracts for services; (3) GAO's review of the information available indicated that the two Library contracts in question did not violate the act; (4) the Library's procedures relating to the Buy American Act appear to be generally adequate for determining whether an offeror has complied with the act once the Library has determined whether the procurement is for an end product or a service; and (5) while the question of whether a procurement is for an end product or a service can be difficult, it is the responsibility of the contracting agency to make this determination.

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