[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 200 (Wednesday, October 17, 2007)]
[Pages 58832-58833]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-20450]



Defense Acquisition Regulations System

Negotiation of a Reciprocal Defense Procurement Memorandum of 
Understanding With Italy

AGENCY: Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense 

ACTION: Request for industry feedback regarding experience in public 
(defense) procurements conducted by Italy.


SUMMARY: DoD has had a Reciprocal Defense Procurement (RDP) Memorandum 
of Understanding (MOU) with Italy since September 11, 1978. DoD is 
commencing negotiation of an updated RDP MOU with Italy and is 
soliciting input from U.S. industry that has had experience 
participating in public defense procurements conducted by or on behalf 
of the Italian Ministry of Defense or Armed Forces. The current RDP MOU 
involves reciprocal waivers of buy-national laws by each country; the 
replacement RDP MOU is expected to continue these waivers. This means 
that Italy will continue to be listed as one of the ``qualifying 
countries'' in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement 
(DFARS) at 225.872-1, and

[[Page 58833]]

that offers of products of Italy would continue to be exempt from the 
U.S. Buy American Act and Balance of Payments Program policy that would 
otherwise require DoD to add 50 percent to the price of the foreign 
products when evaluating offers. This also means that U.S. products 
should be exempt from any analogous ``Buy Italian'' law or policy 
applicable to procurements by the Italian Ministry of Defense or Armed 
Forces. DoD is interested in comments relating to the transparency, 
integrity, and general fairness of Italy's public (defense) procurement 
processes. DoD is also interested in comments relating to the degree of 
reciprocity that exists between the United States and Italy when it 
comes to the openness of defense procurements to offers of products of 
the other country.

DATES: Comments must be received by November 16, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to: Office of the Director, Defense 
Procurement and Acquisition Policy, ATTN: OUSD (AT&L) DPAP (CPIC), 3060 
Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3060; or by e-mail to 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Nancy Dowling, telephone 703-697-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Reciprocal Defense Procurement MOUs DoD 
has with 21 countries are signed at the level of the Secretary of 
Defense and his counterpart. The purpose of RDP MOUs is to promote 
rationalization, standardization, and interoperability of defense 
equipment with allies and friendly governments. It provides a framework 
for ongoing communication regarding market access and procurement 
matters that affect effective defense cooperation. Based on the MOU, 
each country affords the other certain benefits on a reciprocal basis 
consistent with national laws and regulations. For 19 of the 21 RDP MOU 
countries, including Italy, these benefits include evaluation of offers 
without applying price differentials otherwise required by the Buy 
American Act and the Balance of Payments Program. For all RDP MOU 
countries, two additional benefits are that (1) the specialty metals 
restriction in 10 U.S.C. 2533b does not apply to products manufactured 
in the RDP MOU partner country, and (2) the United States does not 
include customs, taxes, and duties in the evaluation of offers and 
waives charges for customs and duties for procurements to which the RDP 
MOU applies.
    The United States and Italy originally entered into a RDP MOU on 
September 11, 1978. All of the countries with which DoD has RDP MOUs 
are identified in DFARS 225.872-1. If DoD determines that it would 
continue to be inconsistent with the public interest to apply the 
restrictions of the Buy American Act to the acquisition of Italian 
defense equipment and supplies, Italy would remain on the list in DFARS 
    RDP MOUs generally include language by which the parties agree that 
their defense procurements will be conducted in accordance with certain 
implementing procedures. These procedures relate to publication of 
notices of proposed purchases; the content and availability of 
solicitations for proposed purchases; notification to each unsuccessful 
offeror; feedback, upon request, to unsuccessful offerors concerning 
the reasons they were not allowed to participate in a procurement or 
were not awarded a contract; and providing for the hearing and review 
of complaints arising in connection with any phase of the procurement 
process to ensure that, to the extent possible, complaints are 
equitably and expeditiously resolved.
    While DoD is evaluating Italy's laws and regulations in this area, 
DoD would benefit from U.S. industry's experience in participating in 
Italy's public defense procurements. Therefore, DoD is asking U.S. 
firms that have participated or attempted to participate in 
procurements by or on behalf of Italy's Ministry of Defense or Armed 
Forces to provide input as to whether the procurements were conducted 
in accordance with published procedures with transparency, integrity, 
fairness, and due process, and if not, the nature of the problems 

Michele P. Peterson,
Editor, Defense Acquisition Regulations System.
[FR Doc. E7-20450 Filed 10-16-07; 8:45 am]