OFPP issues guide for emergency acquisitions

Emergency Acquisitions guide (.pdf)

Three weeks into hurricane season — and with Hurricane Katrina recovery ongoing — officials have handed contracting officers a new guidebook to help them through future disasters.

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy recently released "Emergency Acquisitions," which focuses on planning related to contingency operations, anti-terrorism activities and national emergencies.

“This is our effort to assist all of you when you’re occasionally faced with emergencies,” said Paul Denett, OFPP administrator, at the Federal Acquisition Institute's Federal Acquisition Conference and Exposition in Washington last week.

The guide describes emergency planning strategies and offers tips on contracting in an emergency. It also discusses flexibilities that acquisition personnel working in such a situation may use to make appropriate purchases.

The guide explains contracting officers' acquisition authority in emergency situations and principles generally applicable to those conditions, such as simplified open-market competitions and buying directly off another agency’s contract.

“Acquaint yourself with that,” Denett said, urging the contracting officers not to wait to read the document.

The guide is intended to supplement, not supplant, agency-specific guidance. OFPP said it should be read along with the Federal Acquisition Regulation on emergency acquisitions.

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