Database to help prepare for disasters

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Hurricane season begins June 1, and federal officials want to be prepared for another storm like Hurricane Katrina.

For that reason, Robert Burton, acting administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said today that OFPP is pushing for a online database with would have information about existing contracts that agencies could use to buy products and services from in emergency situations. OFPP also wants to create a online database of procurement executives who have experience dealing with emergency situations.

“We’ve got to have something in place,” Burton said.

Burton spoke at the IRMCO Conference on a panel discussing the President’s Management Agenda.

Burton said he is working to get the database online as soon as possible, but no specific deadline exists.

He said that OFPP is working to consolidate the procurement rules for emergency acquisitions so that they can be found in one part of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

After Katrina struck in August 2005, many department officials did not know the regulations regarding acquisition flexibility during emergency situations. Furthermore, they did not know what contracts were available, Burton said.

A working group of officials from the Homeland Security Department and the General Services Administration is leading the effort, Burton said.

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