Recent FTA Announcements Related to Buy America
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently made two separate announcements related to Buy America that I want to bring to your attention. As you know, FTA’s Buy America program helps to ensure that to the greatest extent possible, the steel, iron and manufactured products used in transit projects funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars are produced or manufactured in the U.S.
Buy America Proposed Handbook
On June 16, 2015, FTA announced that it is seeking public comment on a proposed handbook that provides guidance on how to verify and document compliance with FTA’s Buy America pre-award and post-delivery audit requirements for rolling stock procurements, from the solicitation phase through final acceptance of the rolling stock. This proposed handbook explains and illustrates how to calculate domestic content of rolling stock, and is intended for use by recipients of Federal funding, auditors, manufacturers, and suppliers, including subcontractors. In addition, it encourages recipients, manufacturers, and suppliers to adopt certain best practices to ensure compliance with the pre-award and post-delivery audit requirements.
Public comment on the proposed handbook must be submitted by August 17, 2015. For more information, please see the Federal Register Notice.
Bus Testing NPRM
On June 23, 2015, FTA announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend the process for testing the safety and reliability of new transit buses funded with Federal dollars, pursuant to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. In addition to establishing minimum performance standards, a new pass-fail grading system for bus testing, and a weighted scoring process that would better assist transit agencies in purchasing an appropriate vehicle, FTA is proposing to apply Buy America domestic content requirements to buses submitted for testing.
I encourage you to review these two announcements and provide your input.
Therese W. McMillan