Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Who Says That Writing Regulations Can't Be Humorous?

In both fiscal years 2014 and 2015, the Defense Appropriations Acts included provisions prohibiting the use of funds made available under the acts for purchasing or manufacturing United States Flags unless those flags were manufactured in the United States.

In February, the Department of Defense published a proposed DFARS (DoD Federal Acquisition Regulation) provision to that effect. It proposed to amend the Barry Amendment which restricts the purchase of certain items of food, clothing, fabrics, and other items unless the items have been grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the United States, by adding the U.S. Flag to the list.

DoD requested public comments to the proposed regulation and received two. One commended the regulation. The other read as follows:
To be hello, and welcome. My name is Zlatan Gojkovic, and I make Flags of America. Real good. You understand, boss?
At the American Flag Corporation of Serbia, our flags have all the stars. Stripes too! Come on cowboys, lets make these flags for real. Buy them from us. We guarantee it.
Flags of America made in America cost lots of U.S. dollars. Thats no good, Jack. Flags made in Serbia cost much less money. Thats dollars in your pocket, and flag for every house.
How do we keep prices low? Thats easy, bub. For many hours a day, village women sew flags. They enjoy it! This, for them, is democracy. Conditions in workhouse are great. George Washington says, Yes, I approve this message!
You want a deal, Ill cut you a deal. Im a businessman, after all. Buy one flag, get one flag free. Double flags, double value for you, and your family. Believe me when Im honest, you wont find an offer like this on any Amazon.
Serbian American Flag Company--pretty nice flags, wouldnt you say?
One would suppose that the DFARS committee wouldn't even acknowledge such a response. It could very well have been a hoax. However, in typical bureaucratic fashion, the Council wrote:
Another respondent requested flags bye purchased from his company in Serbia; however, section 81233 and section 8119 of the DoD Appropriations Acts for 2014 and 2015, respectively, prohibit the use of funds made available under the acts for the purchase or manufacture of a flag of the United States, unless such flag is manufactured in the United States.

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