DHS IG sees Buy American Act difficulties

The Homeland Security Department lacks the ability to fully track how well it is complying with the Buy American Act, according to a new report from acting inspector general Richard Skinner.

'We were unable to fully validate compliance with Buy American Act [BAA] requirements because of DHS' inability to identify conclusively all procurements subject to BAA requirements and the tight time constraints under which the audit had to be conducted,' the inspector general's report said.

The audit, which covered November 2004 to February 2005, reviewed compliance with the 1933 law requiring the federal government to buy American-made articles, materials and supplies as much as possible, with certain exceptions.

Non-U.S. purchasing is believed to occur infrequently, but DHS' automated computer systems do not permit ready identification of foreign acquisitions, according to the report.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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