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    In years past, the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act was more prominant within RFPs, at one time I believe even including a full text FAR clause that clearly definited the terms "manufacturer" and "regular dealer." Now the issues seems to have been clouded and embedded within the U.S.C. and, possibly, the C.F.R. and isn't as clear as it once was. Part 22 and the clause 52.222-20 do not clearly define the issue. In years past, to be a "regular dealer" you had to carry an inventory for the general "type" of equipment being proposed. Can you provide guidance as to how I should deal with this situation? Also, even if they subcontract to a small business, I don't think they meet the intent of Walsh-Healey, but at present I cannot prove that.


    Answer

    Like many things in federal procurement, rules change.  This one changed a long time ago (1997), however many still remember it.  The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act has remained and was recently renamed the “Contracts for Materials, Supplies, Articles, and Equipment Exceeding $15,000 Act, but was revised regarding “manufactures” and “regular dealers” 17 years ago as Walsh-Healey.

    The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) modified Walsh-Healey to remove the “regular dealer” and “manufacturer” requirements.  In the Federal Register (Vol. 62 No. 163 Dated Friday August 22, 1997) the interim rule at FAC 90-43 was converted to a final rule without change.  The effect was to “eliminate the requirement that covered contractors under the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act be either the manufacturer of or a regular dealer in the materials, supplies, articles, or equipment to be manufactured or used in the performance of the contract.”

    In summary we don’t have the definitions in FAR subpart 22.6 or the definitions in the clause(s) anymore since there is no need to be a manufacturer or regular dealer.  So this is a non-issue for your contract action.

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