Dear Mr. Rotenberry:
This responds to your letter of January 2, 2003, requesting clarification of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Review Requirements.
The May 1995 Handbook entitled Conducting Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Audits for Bus Procurements is still in effect. Written to provide guidance to grant recipients and manufacturers, it is based on the regulations found at 49 C.F.R. Part 663. There has been no need to issue a new version of the manual because the regulations have not changed since it was issued.
The regulations require that a recipient purchasing rolling stock must conduct, or cause to be conducted, a pre-award and a post-delivery audit to verify compliance with Buy America. Section 663.37(a) requires that a resident inspector be at the manufacturing site throughout the period of manufacture, but as FTA noted in the handbook, the inspector need not be full time. However, while FTA has not prescribed the number of hours an inspector must be on site, we do require a certain outcome: that the inspector’s resulting report is comprehensive and ensures that the vehicles comply with Buy America and the contract specifications. As noted in the handbook, "[t]he number of visits and the length of each visit should be based on the recipient’s level of comfort with the manufacturer’s capabilities."
FTA grant funds may be used to pay for the inspection services as part of the program administration. FTA’s Buy America website contains the most up to date Buy America information.
Finally, thank you for alerting me to the technical problem you had with our website, and please be assured that we are addressing this matter. If you have any questions, please contact Meghan G. Ludtke, at (202) 366-1936.
Very truly yours,
Gregory B. McBride
Deputy Chief Counsel