Revisions Support Implementation of BABA
On February 9, the Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a proposed rule entitled "Guidance for Grants and Agreements.” The rule proposes to revise OMB guidance for grants and agreements to support the implementation of the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) provision of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. OMB states that the proposed revisions will support implementation of the Act, clarify existing requirements, and improve uniformity and consistency in the implementation of BABA requirements across the government.
Proposed changes to regulations include:
- Domestic preferences for procurements, including new definitions,
- A common framework for applying Buy America Preferences (BAP) to Federal Financial Assistance,
- Guidance for determining the cost of manufactured products,
- Proposed standards for “all manufacturing processes” for the manufacture of construction materials, and
- Guidance on all awards that include infrastructure projects.
The OMB requests public comment on all proposed guidance, but public comments are particularly invited on the following subjects:
- Cost of components
- Other construction material standards
- Proposed definition of construction materials
- Definition for “predominantly” iron or steel items
- How to distinguish between categories of products
- Meaning of composite building materials
- Fiber optic cables and optical fibers
- Standards applicable to optical fiber and optic glass
- Reducing burden on recipients.
Each subject contains a number of very specific requests on feedback related to definitions, terms, and specific language. Comments to the proposed revisions are due by March 13, 2023, and must be submitted electronically at: regulations.gov.