GSA Disaster Relief and Recovery Schedules An Option for State, Local & Educational Governments
Published: March 25, 2020
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, many State governments are looking to or have approved use of any GSA Disaster Relief and Recovery Schedule provided the good or service is not already available on State Term Contracts.
GSA's Disaster Purchasing Program allows state and local governments to buy supplies and services directly from all GSA Schedules to facilitate disaster preparation, response, or major disaster recovery. Purchases made in support of recovery must be in response to a Stafford Act Presidential declaration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the list of declared disasters.
State and local governments can purchase equipment and services to support natural or man-made disasters, including acts of terrorism, or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.
Authority for State and Local Government Access to Schedules under Disaster Purchasing Program:
- Section 833 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364) authorized the Administrator of General Services to provide state and local governments the use of GSA Schedules for the purchase of products and services to be used to facilitate recovery from a major disaster declared by the president under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) or to facilitate recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.
- Federal Supply Schedules Usage Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-263) authorized use of Federal Supply Schedules to facilitate disaster preparedness or response, in addition to the recovery from major disasters declared by the president, as well as recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.
South Carolina as an example, recently gave guidance to their contracting staff on the potential utlization of GSA Disaster Relief and Recovery Schedules.
In order to use GSA Disaster Relief and Recovery Schedules made available to the State, the Board granted and exemption to the procurement code. This states the conditions under which the State may purchase qualifying supplies and services from GSA Contracts:
“Pursuant to Section 11-35-710, the Board grants all governmental bodies an exemption to acquire any supplies and services through appropriate Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts, if (1) the products and services are not available through an existing state term contract [Section 11-35-310(35)], (2) the acquisition complies with federal law, including 48 C.F.R Subpart 538.71 and 40 U.S.C. § 502, (3) the FSS Contract to be used has been approved and made available by the Materials Management Office, and (4) the products and services are to be used to facilitate recovery from either (a) a major disaster declared by the President under 42 U.S.C 5121 et seq., or (b) a terrorism, or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack publicly declared by the Governor. Products and services are used to facilitate recovery if they are necessary for and directly related to an urgent effort to return to conditions similar to those existing prior to the disaster or attack. The materials Management Office shall maintain a list of the approved FSS contracts. All such purchases must be reported to MMO quarterly in the same manner sole source and emergency procurements are reported. MMO may cancel a governmental body’s authority to use this exemption. Purchases allowed under this exemption shall not be made in advance of the disaster or attack except in limited circumstances and only if the purchase is (1) made through the Materials Management Office, and (2) for a governmental body identified in the State Emergency Operations Plan as one that provides Emergency Support Functions, and (3) approved in advance by both the Director of the S.C. Emergency Management Division or his designee and the Materials Management Officer or his designee” (italics added for emphasis.)”
Some schedules accessible to State Governments include the following:
Public Health Emergencies Program
When a Public Health Emergency (PHE) is declared, state, local, tribal and territorial governments can now benefit from the speed, savings, and ease of use of the Federal Supply Schedules. These eligible ordering entities are now authorized to access all Federal Supply Schedules for the purchase of supplies and services, when expending federal grants funds in response to Public Health Emergencies (PHEs). This authorization is made through the Secretary of Health and Human Services, under section 319 of the Public Health Services Act, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 247d. Access to the Federal Supply Schedules under this program is limited to state, local, tribal and territorial governments receiving grant funds in direct response to a PHE.
When purchasing from Schedules, state, local, tribal and territorial governments should follow the ordering and competitive procedures that meet their own procurement regulations, and any requirements stipulated in the grant funding. Participation is voluntary for state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as Schedule contractors. 1122 Program Access to Schedules is limited to equipment purchases made in support of counter-drug, homeland-security, and emergency-response efforts.