Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121-5207), or more commonly the “Stafford Act,” the President can declare an “emergency” or, if the incident is more serious, a “major disaster.” These declarations, among other things, give federal contracting officials certain acquisition flexibilities not normally available.
In response to COVID-19, President Trump declared a nationwide emergency (an unusual step because these declarations are typically limited to a limited geographic area). And he has since approved major disaster declarations for at least seven states: New York, Washington, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. What are some of the flexibilities that have been unleashed by these declarations and how might they impact federal government contractors?Continue reading