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?
Late last week, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo providing direction to agencies on how to best coordinate with and manage contractors as the nation presses through the disruption caused by COVID-19.
You’ve likely heard of small business set-asides, SDVOSB set-asides, 8(a) Program set-asides, HUBZone set-asides, and other set-aside categories regulated, for the most part, by the Small Business Administration. But have you ever heard of a Stafford Act set-aside?
If not, you might want to keep reading about GAO’s recent analysis where it assessed whether the awardee was eligible for the Stafford Act set-aside.