DATE: May 12, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Department of Defense; Implementation Reviews of Reciprocal Procurement Memoranda of Understanding

SOURCE: Federal Register, May 12, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 93, page 30573

AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DOD)

ACTION: Request for Comments

SYNOPSIS: The Office of Foreign Contracting, Defense Procurement, is seeking information concerning the defense procurement practices of countries with which DOD has reciprocal procurement Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). These countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The countries with which the U.S. has entered into MOUs are called "qualifying countries" and are listed in Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 225.872, Contracting with Qualifying Country Sources. The MOUs and other international agreements between the U.S. and these "qualifying countries" are maintained in the Office of Foreign Contracting, 703-697-9351.

DATES: Submit comments and information no later than June 26, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Send three copies of all comments to Domenico C. Cipicchio, Deputy Director, Defense Procurement, Foreign Contracting, OUSD (AT&L), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan M. Hildner, Procurement Analyst, Defense Procurement, Foreign Contracting, OUSD (AT&L), 3060 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060, 703-697-9352.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: The U.S. has entered into MOUs with several "qualifying countries" which affect (1) the way offers from their contractors are evaluated in DOD acquisitions, and (2) the performance of DOD contracts in foreign countries. These MOUs are intended to promote interoperability and standardization of defense equipment between the U.S. and its allies, and to eliminate buy-national barriers and other discriminatory procurement practices so the industries of each country receive fair and equal access to each other's defense procurements.

The Office of Foreign Contracting will be performing reviews of how these MOUs are being implemented by the qualifying countries, and it is interested in obtaining information on any discriminatory practices that hinder the ability of U.S. suppliers to compete for defense-related procurements within any of these countries. Problem areas could include the following:

EDITOR'S NOTE: On May 1, 2000, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) submitted to several congressional committees a report identifying foreign countries that engage in discriminatory government procurement practices. According to the report, the practices of several qualifying countries are being "monitored," including several Canadian provincial "Buy Canadian" price preferences, and German "sect filters" intended to discriminate against companies owned by Scientologists. For more on the USTR's report, see the May 9, 2000, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "United States Trade Representative; Annual Report on Discrimination in Foreign Government Procurement." Also, see Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 25.6, Trade Sanctions, for sanctions that have been imposed on 11 European Union (EU) members for discriminatory practices involving "telecommunications entities." All the sanctioned EU members, except Ireland, are qualifying countries, but the sanctions apply only to civilian agencies, not to DOD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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