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The Buy Indian Act Rulemaking

In collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Management and Budget, the Indian Health Service (IHS) initiated rulemaking that responds to longstanding recommendations from Tribes and Tribal organizations for the Agency to enforce Buy Indian Act authority when carrying out Federal procurement activities.

In support of the proposed rule, the IHS conducted the first of a series of Tribal Consultations, in conjunction with updates to Indian Health Service (IHS) contracting policy and procedures associated with implementing the Buy Indian Act of 1910 (Buy Indian Act) at 25 U.S.C. § 47. The IHS seeks input on current challenges that Indian-owned and Indian-controlled businesses encounter when pursuing IHS commercial contract awards and strategic approaches to maximize contracting under this authority.

About the Buy Indian Act

Passed into law on June 25, 1910 (25 U.S.C. 47)

  • The Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), to employ Indian labor and to purchase the products of Indian-owned and controlled firms without using the normal competitive process
  • The Transfer Act of 1954 authorizes the IHS to use the Buy Indian act to carry out its health care responsibilities (25 U.S.C. 1633)
  • The Act does not apply to contracts awarded under ISDEAA Public Law 93-638

Summary of the Buy Indian Notice of Proposed Rule Making

This rule proposes to amend the current Health and Human Services Acquisition Regulations (HHSAR), codified at 48 CFR 326, Subpart 326.6

  • This rule will supplement the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and formalizes an administrative procedure for all IHS acquisition activities and locations
  • The rule is intended to establish Buy Indian Act acquisition policies and procedures for IHS consistent with the Buy Indian Act rule established by the Department of the Interior

The deadline for formal comments in response to the Buy Indian NPRM published to the Federal Register must be submitted to the official Docket ID.

2021 Tribal Consultation on Buy Indian Act: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [PDF]

Other Resources

If you have any questions, you may contact Mr. Santiago Almaraz, Acting Director, Office of Management Services at 301-443-4872 or Mr. Paul Premoe, Lead Contract Specialist, at 301-443-4470.