House passes bill to keep GSA skeds open to state, local agencies

Congress backs programs that open schedules contracts to state and local governments in case of emergency

Editor's note: This article has been corrected at 2:15 p.m., Sept. 16, 2010.

The House has joined the Senate in passing a bill to allow state and local agencies to buy products and services through the General Services Administration's Federal Supply Schedules in the event of an emergency.

The bill, passed Sept. 15 by voice vote, would allow governments to buy from schedule contracts to prepare for an oncoming disaster and also give the American Red Cross permission to use the schedules. GSA has provided such access on a temporary basis, but a law is needed to make it permanent.

The Senate passed the bill in May. The House amended the Senate's version, so the Senate must approve the bill.

The House also passed a bill on Sept. 15 by voice vote that would automatically debar federal contractors convicted for unlawfully influencing foreign officials. The legislation goes to the Senate for consideration.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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