The site showcases all waivers reviewed by the Made in America Office, allowing U.S. businesses to identify opportunities that might otherwise go to foreign competitors.
The Office of Management and Budget’s Made in America Office launched a website Friday that fulfills a key aspect of a January executive order from President Joe Biden ordering federal agencies to buy more American-made products.
Launched through the General Services Administration, the website—MadeinAmerica.gov—will publish information on proposed waivers and waivers granted to agencies through all Made in America laws.
According to an OMB official, the current website is a beta version the administration will use in the coming weeks to troubleshoot various functions and operations while allowing the public and contracting staff to get familiar with it. When fully functional, users will be able to view all waivers submitted by agencies and reviewed by the Made in America Office in real time—including during the pre-solicitation phases of potential procurements—allowing manufacturers, contractors and suppliers to identify opportunities that might otherwise go to foreign competitors.
“Today’s website launch means we are one step closer to creating a transparent process in order to establish public trust and to provide information to U.S. farmers, manufacturers, service providers, and other firms so they can identify key opportunities and work towards a future made in America,” said Celeste Drake, director of OMB’s Made in America Office.
While the website is in the preliminary stages of populating waivers—real-time waiver data is expected to be available in mid-November, the official said—early examples on the website highlight products that agencies want to buy.
For example, the Defense Logistics Agency requested a non-availability waiver to purchase more than 1,600 tons of cerium carbonate powder valued at approximately $8.9 million over four years. According to the request, the powder “meets the definition of a material which is not mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities and of a satisfactory quality.” But because the procurement is in the pre-solicitation phase, American firms have a chance to turn those waivers into opportunities and potentially meet the government’s needs.
“The site will enable manufacturers and other interested parties to easily identify proposed waivers and whether those waivers have been granted. The website will also provide publicly available contact information for each granting agency,” the OMB official said.
The website will bring a dose of transparency to government procurement and spending in the wake of consecutive years of historical spending, driven in part by the coronavirus pandemic. In fiscal 2020, agencies spent more than $600 billion in contracts.
NEXT STORY: FCW Insider: October 1, 2021