Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Use by State and Local Governments

Issue

Many federal grant, loan and aid programs provide significant taxpayer funds to state and local governments for infrastructure, security, and related efforts. The Departments of Transportation, Homeland Security and other federal agencies have a variety of such assistance programs that distribute funds for various reasons. In some though not all cases, the recipients are required to comply with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirements when spending those funds. With the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), even more taxpayer funds have been disbursed for these purposes.

In order to ensure that transparency and maximum benefit result from such expenditures, it is incumbent upon the federal government to assure that the funds are properly and consistently obligated and spent. The FAR requirements were established to ensure that taxpayer funds are properly spent by federal agencies. Modified as required by changing circumstances, the FAR requirements have proven their effectiveness over an extended period of time.

ACEC Position

ACEC believes Congress should require all state and local governments receiving federal funding for programs and projects under grant, loan, and aid programs satisfy FAR requirements. To this end, ACEC supports legislation that would:

  1. Require all state and local governments to comply with FAR for all acquisitions wholly or partially funded by federal dollars;
  2. Require all federal agencies to include FAR compliance as a condition of receipt of funding by state and local governments for grant, loan and aid programs;
  3. Establish a minimum reporting mechanism to identify and share information on state and local governments that fail to comply with FAR.
 

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