(1) No specification for bids or statement of work in connection with such works shall be written in such a manner as to contain proprietary, exclusionary, or discriminatory requirements other than those based upon performance, unless such requirements are necessary to test or demonstrate a specific thing or to provide for necessary interchangeability of parts and equipment, or at least two brand names or trade names of comparable quality or utility are listed and are followed by the words “or equal.” If brand or trade names are specified, the grantee must be prepared to identify to the Regional Administrator or in any protest action the salient requirements (relating to the minimum needs of the project) which must be met by any offeror. The single base bid method of solicitation for equipment and parts for determination of a low, responsive bidder may not be utilized. With regard to materials, if a single material is specified, the grantee must be prepared to substantiate the basis for the selection of the material.
(2) Project specifications shall, to the extent practicable, provide for maximum use of structures, machines, products, materials, construction methods, and equipment which are readily available through competitive procurement, or through standard or proven production techniques, methods, and processes, except to the extent that innovative technologies may be used under § 35.908 of this subpart.
(b)Sole source restriction. A specification shall not require the use of structures, materials, equipment, or processes which are known to be available only from a sole source, unless the Regional Administrator determines that the grantee's engineer has adequately justified in writing that the proposed use meets the particular project's minimum needs or the Regional Administrator determines that use of a single source is necessary to promote innovation (see § 35.908). Sole source procurement must be negotiated under § 33.500et seq., including full cost review.
(c)Experience clause restriction. The general use of experience clauses requiring equipment manufacturers to have a record of satisfactory operation for a specified period of time or of bonds or deposits to guarantee replacement in the event of failure is restricted to special cases where the grantee's engineer adequately justifies any such requirement in writing. Where such justification has been made, submission of a bond or deposit shall be permitted instead of a specified experience period. The period of time for which the bond or deposit is required should not exceed the experience period specified. No experience restriction will be permitted which unnecessarily reduces competition or innovation.
(1)Definitions. As used in this subpart, the following definitions apply:
(i)Construction material means any article, material, or supply brought to the construction site for incorporation in the building or work.
(ii)Component means any article, material, or supply directly incorporated in construction material.
(iii)Domestic construction material means an unmanufactured construction material which has been mined or produced in the United States, or a manufactured construction material which has been manufactured in the United States if the cost of its components which are mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States exceeds 50 percent of the cost of all its components.
(iv)Nondomestic construction material means a construction material other than a domestic construction material.
(2)Domestic preference. Domestic construction material may be used in preference to nondomestic materials if it is priced no more than 6 percent higher than the bid or offered price of the nondomestic materials including all costs of delivery to the construction site, any applicable duty, whether or not assessed. Computations will normally be based on costs on the date of opening of bids or proposals.
(3)Waiver. The Regional Administrator may waive the Buy American provision based upon those factors that he considers relevant, including:
(i) Such use is not in the public interest;
(ii) The cost is unreasonable;
(iii) The Agency's available resources are not sufficient to implement the provision, subject to the Deputy Administrator's concurrence;
(iv) The articles, materials, or supplies of the class or kind to be used or the articles, materials, or supplies from which they are manufactured are not mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities or satisfactory quality for the particular project; or
(v) Application of this provision is contrary to multilateral government procurement agreements, subject to the Deputy Administrator's concurrence.
(4)Contract provision. Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, bidding documents and construction contracts for any step 3 project for which the Regional Administrator receives an application after February 1, 1978, shall contain the “Buy American” provision which requires use of domestic construction materials in preference to nondomestic construction materials.
(5)Substitution. If a nondomestic construction material or component is proposed for use, a bidder or contractor may substitute an approved domestic material or component (at no change in price), if necessary to comply with this subsection.
(6)Procedures. The Regional Administrator may use the appropriate procedures of § 35.939 in making the determinations with respect to this subsection. He shall generally observe the Buy American procedures, regulations, precedents, and requirements of other Federal departments and agencies.
[43 FR 44049, Sept. 27, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 37596, June 27, 1979; 44 FR 39340, July 5, 1979]
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