Guardrail Manufacturer Agrees to Civil Settlement for Alleged Buy America Violations
On April 4, 2012, Trinity Highway Products, LLC (Trinity), Dallas, Texas, a leading manufacturer of highway guardrail, highway guardrail end treatments, and other highway safety products, entered into a civil Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The Settlement Agreement called for Trinity to pay the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) $142,000 for alleged violations of the Buy America Act. The Settlement Agreement is not an admission by Trinity of liability, wrongdoing, or guilt.
The allegations of Buy America Act violations were brought by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) that alleged Trinity failed to secure proper Buy America Act documentation from companies that supplied steel to its Centerville, Utah, facility. The investigation identified several instances where Trinity's guardrail accessories were made from steel with non-compliant documentation. The non-compliant steel was installed in Trinity products that were used in Federally-funded MDT projects.
In addition to the investigation, suspension and debarment action was taken into consideration. However, FHWA determined that Trinity took appropriate action to implement a more effective internal control system, which represented a willingness to accept responsibility. In lieu of suspension or debarment, Trinity entered into an Administrative Settlement and Compliance Agreement. The Compliance Agreement includes a requirement for Trinity to appoint an independent corporate compliance officer who will be responsible for implementation and day-to-day administration and oversight of its corporate compliance program.