WASHINGTON—Today, in response to a distressing report by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General revealing that Air Force contracting personnel did not consistently comply with the Berry Amendment or the Buy American Act, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) decried the findings and called for the swift re-training of personnel to improve compliance. Murphy emphasized that such violations are especially damaging to the growth and sustainability of America’s defense industrial base – including shipbuilders and aerospace manufacturers across Connecticut who rely on defense contracts.
In October of 2015, DoD Inspector General released a similar report revealing that 40% of U.S. Navy contracts reviewed also violated either the Buy American Act or the Berry Amendment.
“Buy American laws exist for a reason – to ensure the U.S. government isn’t needlessly sending taxpayer dollars overseas for goods they can buy here at home. For the Air Force to ignore the law in any instances is outrageous,” said Murphy. “The Inspector General of the Navy found similar problems just last year. I find it troubling that the people in charge of Pentagon purchasing don’t even know how to enforce the Buy American law. Every day these mistakes keep occurring, America’s national security is weakened and our jobs are moved overseas. Something must change.”
According to the Inspector General’s report, one-third of the U.S. Air Force contracts reviewed violated either the Buy American Act or the Berry Amendment. Air Force personnel did not comply with the Buy American Act for 12 out of 33 contracts reviewed, and Air Force personnel did not comply with the Berry Amendment for six out of 21 contracts reviewed.
The manufacturing industry plays a crucial role throughout Connecticut communities, creating new jobs and accelerating our state’s economic recovery. Today, Connecticut’s 4,602 manufacturers account for 10.2% of the state’s jobs and 87% of the state’s total exports.