GSA Opens Contracts to State and Local Governments for Disaster Recovery
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has announced that state and local governments soon will be able to order products and services from federal contracts to support recovery from major disasters and acts of terrorism.
The change will vastly improve GSA’s ability to assist communities during times of national emergencies. With publication of an interim rule change to 40 U.S.C. 502 in the Federal Register, GSA has begun the contract modification process to make this new support available by spring of 2007.
According to GSA Administrator Lurita Doan, opening the Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) means delivery speed and best value for those state and local agencies that directly help citizens who need it most.
For state and local governments to use federal disaster relief and recovery contracts normally only available to federal agencies, purchases must be for recovery from a major disaster as declared by the President under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, or an act of terrorism. However, GSA’s rule allows state and local governments to purchase these goods and services in advance of such a disaster to allow for rapid response and recovery.
GSA has been working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies to implement the new program. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff determined all goods and services on GSA’s FSS could be used for disaster recovery, but GSA contracts for Disaster Relief, Homeland Security, and Wildland Fire and Equipment should be among the first available to state and local responders.
Beyond these initial offerings, GSA’s entire FSS of more than 10 million products and services will be opened for state and local disaster relief, leveraging the buying power of the federal government to negotiate the most competitive deals with America’s businesses.
Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government. GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,300 government-owned or leased buildings and 170,000 vehicles. GSA also serves as steward of more than 420 historic properties, and as manager of USA.gov, the official portal to federal government information and services. GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and e-travel solutions, and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.