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New Rules: GSA Schedules And Presidentially Declared Disasters

The General Services Administration has just put out for comment a proposed rule change with a deadline of June 16th, 2014. The proposed rule change will widen the use of GSA Schedules for Disaster Preparedness and Disaster Relief to additional State and Local agencies as well as Not-for-Profit groups like the American National Red Cross and similar organizations as in more recent disasters these groups have begun to play a key role in recovery. This is highly likely to benefit small businesses that are GSA Schedule Holders as Federal Funds allocated to these groups will be easier tracked and monitored if purchases are from the Federal Schedule System. Thereby making GSA Schedule Holders the new key vendors of many of these groups.

Applicable Law - Regarding Not-for-Profits

“The President is authorized to enter into agreements with the American National Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Mennonite Disaster Service, and other relief or disaster assistance organizations under which the disaster relief activities of such organizations may be coordinated by the Federal coordinating officer whenever such organizations are engaged in providing relief during and after a major disaster or emergency. Any such agreement shall include provisions assuring that use of Federal facilities, supplies, and services will be in compliance with regulations prohibiting duplication of benefits and guaranteeing nondiscrimination promulgated by the President under this chapter, and such other regulation as the President may require.”

Applicable Law – How the GSA Schedules Fit In

“The Administrator may provide for the use by State or local governments of Federal supply schedules of the General Services Administration for goods or services that are to be used to facilitate recovery from a major disaster declared by the President under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.), to facilitate disaster preparedness or response, or to facilitate recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.”

Applicable Law – Which Schedules

“The Secretary of Homeland Security shall determine which goods and services qualify as goods and services… for the use of the Federal supply schedule relating to such goods and services.”

New Rule Specifications

Qualified organization

A relief or disaster assistance organization as described in section 309 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5152).

Voluntary use

Participation by a firm that sells to the Federal Government through the supply schedule shall be voluntary with respect to a sale to the State or local government through such supply schedule.


The authority under this subsection may not be used to purchase supplies for resale.

This may seem like a small change in federal policy with regard to GSA Schedules. However in the event of a major disaster the procurement of items from GSA schedules will more than likely be widely used because of the pre-negotiated prices, reliable suppliers and no audit trail required for the federal funds provided to the organizations. These key elements of the GSA Schedule will boost sales for schedule holder during Presidentially Declared Disasters.


GSA Schedules

A GSA Schedule is your first step in entering the federal market place. If you would like for me to run an analysis for your firm to see what type of impact a GSA Schedule could provide your business, give me a call and I am always happy to discuss. Knowing the size of the federal marketplace in your industry is the first step in making a strategic decision as to whether you should view the federal government as a growth are for your business. Please feel free to give me a call at 303-810-4580.


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