Tags: department of homeland security | uniforms | overseas | buy american

Report: 58 Percent of DHS Uniforms Bought Overseas

Image: Report: 58 Percent of DHS Uniforms Bought Overseas
(Gregory Bull/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 November 2017 06:24 PM

The Department of Homeland Security buys more uniforms from Mexico and Central America than it does from within the United States, skirting the spirit of "Buy American" rules, a federal watchdog found.

Forty-two percent of the department's uniforms are from the United States, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday. By contrast, about 30 percent came from Mexico, 10 percent from El Salvador and 6 percent from Honduras, totaling nearly $75 million in spending over the last three years.

The purchases run afoul of rules that say Homeland Security, like much of the rest of government, should buy textiles grown or processed in the United States when it comes to national security cases — referring to uniforms for the law enforcement branches like the Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration and the Secret Service, the Washington Times reported.

Homeland Security officials are aware of the rules and include language in contracts trying to follow them, according to the watchdog. But in reality, there are a number of exceptions that prevent the Buy American rules from having a serious effect on government contracts.

"[W]e found, due in part to the exceptions, that the restriction has limited effect," the GAO wrote. "For example, procurements must be made in accordance with U.S. trade agreements, which means most DHS offices must treat certain textiles made in 128 countries the same as domestic products.

"As a result, 58 percent of funds spent to order uniforms under the current DHS contract are for imported items."

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The Department of Homeland Security buys more uniforms from Mexico and Central America than it does from within the United States, skirting the spirit of "Buy American" rules, a federal watchdog found.
department of homeland security, uniforms, overseas, buy american
248
2017-24-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 06:24 PM
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