FEMA official: Local businesses must understand federal procurement

The biggest problem with post-Hurricane Katrina emergency procurements is that few local companies understand how federal procurement works, Tina Burnette, acquisitions director at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has said.

“The problem is trying to get these local communities acclimated to federal contracting,” Burnette said Sept. 18 as part of a panel of federal emergency officials at an event of the Bethesda, Md., chapter of AFCEA International.

She said federal acquisitions laws are so complicated that large companies sometimes hire consultants to teach acquisitions employees how the they work.

Adding to the confusion, a number of new acquisitions regulations were introduced for emergency situations after the huuricane, and one stipulates that disaster relief funds be used to hire local companies.

“We’re trying to stimulate the economy where the disaster happened so you can rebuild it,” she said.

Burnette said FEMA is working with the General Services Administration to inform Gulf Coast businesses on how federal procurement works, get them into the Central Contract Registry and prepare them for the requirements that come with taking contracts.

Other regulations require that no more than 65 percent of emergency funding be used to hire subcontractors and limit noncompetitive acquisition orders to no more than 150 days.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.