Defense Contracting:

Air Force Machine Tool Procurement Raises Buy American Questions

NSIAD-90-73: Published: Feb 21, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 21, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed an Air Force contract award to an Italian firm for machine tools, focusing on: (1) whether the procurement violated a statutory prohibition on the use of procurement funds for foreign-made tools; and (2) the Air Force's determination that the firm was responsible.

GAO found that the: (1) Air Force did not obtain sufficiently detailed information to determine that the firm would deliver a domestic product in compliance with the statutory restriction; (2) Air Force did not properly certify the firm's status under the Walsh-Healey Act; (3) Air Force based its responsibility determination on very general information about the firm's distribution activities; and (4) firm disclosed that it would be forced to supply substitute equipment, and the Air Force had asked it to provide data to ensure that the machine would meet domestic-content requirements.

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