The Pre-Award Review Requirements

This section explains procedures that will help the recipient conduct the pre-award review in accordance with the Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Rule. It cites relevant portions of the Rule and describes the review process. Sample certifications that the recipient may use as models to demonstrate that the review has been conducted as required by the Rule are presented in Appendix A.

The Pre-Award Buy America
Certification Requirement

This subsection discusses procedures that recipients may follow to demonstrate compliance with the pre-award Buy America certification requirement.

Buses to be purchased by a recipient must fall into one of two categories under this requirement: (1) buses that meet the Buy America domestic content and assembly requirement and (2) buses for which a Buy America waiver is available. The procedures for each category are described below.

Buy America-Compliant Buses

Most buses must meet the 60 percent minimum domestic content and U.S. final assembly requirements set forth in the Buy America Rule. Therefore, the recipient must be satisfied that the buses will meet the requirements. In other words, the recipient must be satisfied that the manufacturer who is proposing to sell the buses can and will comply with the content and assembly requirements.

"The recipient is satisfied that the [buses meet] … the requirements … after having reviewed … documentation … [listing c]omponent and subcomponent parts; … location, … activities, … [and] cost of final assembly." [1]

As a first step in the pre-award review process, the recipient, or a duly appointed analyst, must review the Buy America information that the proposed manufacturer must provide for the review.

The manufacturer’s information must include:

Each component and subcomponent on the list must be identified by manufacturer, country of origin, and cost (in either a dollar or percentage format). Final assembly costs are not to be included when calculating the percent domestic content of the bus. Likewise, component manufacturing costs are not to be used when calculating the percent domestic content of a component.

The manufacturer’s list must identify the domestic subcomponents for major components used in the content calculation, such as engines, transmissions, and wheelchair lifts.

Section Four, "Examples of Complying With the Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Review Requirements," presents samples of domestic content calculations. Section Five, "Frequently Asked Questions About the Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Review," answers questions concerning the domestic content of components and subcomponents and the allowable cost used in the percent domestic content calculations of the bus.

To be assured that the manufacturer can comply with the requirements, the analyst must verify that the buses will contain a minimum of 60 percent domestic products, by cost. Therefore, the analyst must:

The analyst should subtract the final assembly cost from the price of the buses to approximate the total component cost and thus the percentage base that the manufacturer used to calculate the domestic cost contribution for each item listed in the manufacturer’s information.

To verify that the final assembly location will be within the United States, the analyst must:

After the analyst has completed the steps described above, the recipient must:

If the manufacturer agrees, the recipient should, but is not required to, keep a copy of the manufacturer’s Buy America information with the Buy America certification in the file.

Buy America-Exempt Buses

Although few buses are exempt from the Buy America domestic content and final assembly requirements, some manufacturers’ buses may be eligible for an FTA waiver exempting the buses from the requirements. If a waiver does exist for the buses the recipient must:

"There is a letter from [FTA], which grants a waiver to the [buses] to be purchased …" [2]

The recipient should keep a copy of the FTA waiver letter with the Buy America certification in the files. Appendix C summarizes details of current Buy America waivers.

The Pre-Award Purchaser's Requirements
Certification Requirement

This subsection discusses procedures that recipients may follow to demonstrate compliance with the pre-award purchaser’s requirements certification requirement.

This requirement is intended to eliminate those manufacturers that appear irresponsible and/or incapable of complying with the recipients’ solicitation specifications.

To comply with the purchaser’s requirements certification, the recipient, or a designated analyst, must check:

To ensure compliance, the analyst should review:

After the review has been completed, the recipient must:

The recipient should keep copies of their solicitation specification, the manufacturer’s bid specification, approvals of any approved equals, and manufacturer qualifications with the purchaser’s requirements certification in the file.

The Pre-Award Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) Certification Requirement

This subsection discusses procedures that recipients may follow to demonstrate compliance with the FMVSS certification requirement.

Most buses must comply with the FMVSS regulations, although these standards may not apply to all bus procurements.

FMVSS-Compliant Buses

As previously stated, most buses must comply with the FMVSS regulations. If this is the case, the recipient must:

The recipient should keep the manufacturer’s pre-award FMVSS sticker information with the FMVSS certification in the file.

FMVSS-Exempt Buses

Although nearly all buses are subject to the FMVSS regulations, some buses may not be subject to the FMVSS regulations. Details of exemptions are explained in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 555, "Temporary Exemption From Motor Vehicle Safety Standards." If the buses are not subject to the FMVSS regulations, the recipient must:

The recipient should keep the manufacturer’s pre-award FMVSS statement with the FMVSS certification in the file.


[1] Section 663.25(b), "Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Audits of Rolling Stock Purchases," 49 CFR, Part 663.

[2] Section 663.25(a), "Pre-Award and Post-Delivery Audits of Rolling Stock Purchases," 49 CFR, Part 663.