GSA Opens Contracts to State and Local Governments for Disaster Recovery
February 1, 2007
Contact: Jon Anderson (202) 501-1231
Washington, DC – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today announced that state and local governments will soon 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 today 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.
GSA Administrator Lurita Doan said, “Opening our Federal Supply Schedules means unprecedented delivery speed and best value for state and local agencies directly helping Americans who need it most.” Doan added, “From my first day on the job, I knew we could better use GSA’s vast resources and talent to address and overcome a national disaster. This initiative moves us closer to that objective.”
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 DHS and other federal agencies to implement this new program. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff determined all goods and services on GSA Federal Supply Schedules 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. “We’re taking steps today to make most critical contracts available as soon as possible,” said GSA Chief of Staff John Phelps. “This fits perfectly with our reaffirmed agency commitment to focus GSA contracts and expertise where they’re needed most in an emergency, anywhere in the country.”
Beyond these initial offerings, GSA’s entire Federal Supply Schedule of more than 10 million products and services will be opened for state and local disaster relief. “GSA’s already leveraged the buying power of the federal government to negotiate the most competitive deals with the best of America’s businesses, so let’s put that to work for Americans affected by disasters,” said GSA Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Jim Williams.
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 helps preserve our past and define our future, as a 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.
Did You Know? In its response to Hurricane Katrina, GSA provided more than $1 billion in supplies and services to the hardest-hit regions, answered more than 1.5 million hurricane-related inquiries, and dispatched more than 700 agency experts to help citizens.