By Government Contracts Editorial Staff
As part of its response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has established the Emergency Management Priorities and Allocations System. An interim final rule sets standards and procedures for requiring certain contracts or orders that promote the national defense to receive priority over other contracts or orders. The rule also sets new standards and procedures by which FEMA may allocate materials, services, and facilities to promote the national defense under emergency and non-emergency conditions pursuant to section 101 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 USC 4511). The new regulations at 44 CFR 333 consist of two principal components. Under the first component, contracts, or orders necessary or appropriate to support programs that have been approved for priorities support must be accepted and given priority over other contracts or orders to facilitate expedited delivery to promote the U.S. national defense.
Delegation of Authority. The other component allows allocation of materials, services, and facilities to promote the national defense. 44 CFR 333.8 broadly defines the term “national defense” to include critical infrastructure protection and restoration, emergency preparedness and response, and recovery from man-made disasters. The regulations implement DPA priorities and allocations authorities that are the subject of a delegation from the President to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (see E.O. 13911) and re-delegated to the FEMA Administrator, or to the FEMA Administrator directly. This includes the use of authority to support critical infrastructure restoration and protection, stockpiling, and emergency preparedness activities pursuant to Title VI of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 USC 5195, and following), and related statutes, with respect to health and medical resources needed to respond to the spread of COVID-19 within the U.S. The effective date of the rule is May 13, 2020. Comments on the rule are due June 12, 2020. For the text of the rule, see 85 FR 28500.
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