Disaster Purchasing FAQs
The following questions and answers are intended to provide detailed information on the GSA Disaster Purchasing Program for policy and procurement professionals.
1. What is Disaster Purchasing?
Answer: Disaster Purchasing is a GSA program that allows state and local governments access to buy from all Federal Supply Schedules in preparation or response to all disasters, as well as recovery from major disaster declared by the President, or recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.
3. Can state and local governments purchase from all GSA Schedules?
Answer: Yes. The Department of Homeland Security has determined that all of the products and services available under GSA Schedules could potentially be used for preparation, response, and recovery from a disaster or a terrorist attack.
4. What’s the legal definition of state and local government? What if there is a question as to whether or not an entity falls under this definition?
Answer: 40 U.S.C § 502 (c) offers the following definition of state or local government:
"The term, "State or local government" includes any State, local, regional, or tribal government, or any instrumentality thereof (including any local educational agency or institution of higher education)."
The term does not include contractors or grantees of state or local governments.
If there is a question on whether or not an entity falls under this definition, the entity may submit an eligibility request to GSA. Instructions for eligibility requests can be found at our Eligibility Determination Process site. GSA will issue a formal determination on behalf of the requesting entity that clearly outlines the entity’s access to GSA sources of supply. Entities that clearly fall under the definition of state and local government do not need to request an eligibility determination.
5. Are state and local government entities required to show proof of eligibility, from GSA, when purchasing through approved GSA state and local programs (Cooperative Purchasing and Disaster Purchasing)?
Answer: GSA does not issue eligibility letters to entities that clearly fall under the legal definition of state or local government. If the entity clearly falls under the legal definition of state or local government, then they are automatically authorized to place orders under these programs.
If there is a question about eligibility, either from the purchasing entity or the GSA vendor, the purchasing entity may submit an eligibility request to GSA, as directed above.
6. Define preparedness, response, and recovery as related to the Disaster Purchasing Program?
Answer: “Preparedness” means actions that involve a combination of planning, resources, training, exercising, and organizing to build, sustain, and improve operational capabilities. Preparedness is the process of identifying the personnel, training, and equipment needed for a wide range of potential incidents, and developing jurisdiction – specific plans for delivering capabilities when needed for an incident.
“Response” means immediate actions to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency plans and actions to support short-term recovery.
“Recovery” means the development, coordination, and execution of service- and site-restoration plans; the reconstitution of government operations and services; individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public-assistance programs to provide housing and to promote restoration; long-term care and treatment of affected persons; additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration; evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned; post incident reporting; and development of initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents.
7. How do state and local government entities place orders against Schedule contracts?
Answer: Orders under the Disaster Purchasing program must include the following statement:
This order is placed under GSA Schedule number __________________ under the authority of the GSA Disaster Purchasing program. The products and services purchased will be used in preparation or response to disasters or recovery from major disaster declared by the President, or recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.
State and local governments must follow their own state and local acquisition regulations to meet competition thresholds and requirements, when buying through Schedule. In order to incorporate GSA terms and conditions, the GSA Schedule contract number should be listed on the order.
Entities are encouraged, but not required to use GSA's Schedule Ordering Procedures to ensure competition and to receive the best value from GSA Schedule contractors.
Ordering Procedures for Supplies, and Services Not Requiring a Statement of Work (Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 8.405-1) or the Ordering Procedures for Services Requiring a Statement of Work (FAR 8.405-2) should be used as an example of best practices.
8. Can state and local governments use other GSA contracts?
Answer: No. Disaster Purchasing authority is limited to GSA Schedule contracts and does not include any other GSA programs. GSA eLibrary contains a list of all GSA Schedules subject to Disaster Purchasing.
9. What is the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)?
Answer: Each Schedule contract price includes an industrial funding fee (IFF) (75 percent), which reimburses GSA for the procurement and administrative costs incurred to operate the GSA Schedules program.
The fee is represented in the prices paid by ordering activities and reported to GSA by Schedule contractors. Schedule vendors send the IFF to GSA every quarter.
10. Are Disaster Purchasing orders subject to the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)?
Answer: Yes. Vendors should report Disaster Purchasing sales under the Disaster Recovery (RC) Special Item Numbers (SINs) on their 72a reporting form.
11. Will GSA waive, or give a portion of, the IFF to state and local government entities?
12. Are state and local government entities required to use the GSA Schedules Program?
Answer: No. Disaster Purchasing is voluntary for both state and local government entities and for Schedule contractors. State and local entities can decide if they wish to make a GSA Schedule purchase, subject to any limitations that may be established under state and local laws and procedures.
13. Are Schedule contractors required to accept orders from state and local government entities?
Answer: No. Schedule contractors have the option of accepting orders placed by state and local government buyers. Schedule contractors decide their level of participation at two levels;
First, at the Schedule contract level, contractors decide whether or not to participate in the program. Schedule contractors will then either enter into a mutual agreement with GSA to modify the existing Schedule contract or indicate, before contract award, their intent to offer their Schedule products and services under Disaster Purchasing.
Second, even after an existing contract is modified or a new contract awarded, a Schedule contractor will retain the right to decline orders received from state and local government entities on a case-by-case basis. Schedule contractors may decline an order, for any reason, within a five-day period after receipt of the order; however, credit card orders must be declined within 24 hours (GSAM 552.232-79).
14. If the contractor does not perform acceptably under a Disaster Purchasing order issued by a state or local entity, should the ordering activity request the GSA contracting officer take corrective measures?
Answer: Contractor acceptance of an order under Disaster Purchasing means forming a new contract between the non-federal ordering activity and the Schedule contractor. The ordering activity's contracting officer is responsible for all contract administration under the new contract.
While most of the terms and conditions of the Schedule contract are incorporated by reference into the Disaster Purchasing order (see question 15 and 16, for exceptions), the federal government is not liable for the contractor's performance or non-performance.
Disputes that cannot be resolved by the parties may be litigated in any state or federal court with jurisdiction, using the principles of federal procurement law and the uniform commercial code, as applicable and appropriate.
State and local government entities may submit information concerning a contractor's performance to the GSA contracting officer for consideration when evaluating the contractor's overall performance under the GSA Schedule contract.
15. Under Disaster Purchasing, can ordering activities include terms and conditions required by state or local statutes, ordinances, regulations, or orders?
Answer:Yes. However, the additional terms and conditions must be included as a part of the Statement of Work (SOW) or the Statement of Objectives (SOO) and must not conflict with the terms and conditions of the GSA Schedule contract.
16. Are any GSA Schedule contract terms and conditions not incorporated by reference into Disaster Purchasing orders?
Answer: Yes. The following contract terms and conditions are not incorporated by reference into Disaster Purchasing orders:
- Disputes Clause; and
- Patent Indemnity Clause.
Certain Commercial Item Contract Terms and Conditions. Portions of the commercial item contract terms and conditions that specify compliance with laws unique to federal government contracts are not applicable to Disaster Purchasing orders.
17. Are Prompt Payment provisions incorporated into Disaster Purchasing orders?
Answer: Yes. GSAM 552.232-81, Payments by Non-Federal Ordering Activities, allows for the terms and conditions of a state's prompt payment law to apply to orders placed by eligible non-federal ordering activities. However, if the ordering activity is not otherwise subject to a state prompt payment law, the activity is covered by the federal prompt payment act in the same manner as federal ordering activities.
18. Are state and local government preference programs affected by Disaster Purchasing?
Answer: No. Disaster Purchasing does not affect state and local government preference programs.
19. May state and local government entities use credit cards to purchase products and services under this program?
Answer: Yes. Schedule contractors may accept any state and local government-issued credit cards for orders placed under Disaster Purchasing. Contractors are required to accept credit cards for orders up to the micro-purchase threshold and contractors may voluntarily accept credit cards for orders exceeding the micro-purchase threshold.
20. Can state and local governments issue Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) under the Schedule contracts?
Answer: Yes. State and local government entities may issue BPAs under the Schedule contracts.
21. Can state and local government entities be granted additional price reductions under the Schedule contracts?
Answer: Yes. State and local government entities may be granted additional price reductions under Disaster Purchasing.
22. Will a spot discount to state and local government entities under the GSA Schedule purchases trigger the Price Reductions clause?
Answer: No. Granting state and local government entities additional price discounts under GSA Schedule purchases will not trigger the Price Reductions clause.
23. Does the Trade Agreements Act apply to contracts between the Schedule contractor and state and local government entities?
Answer: Yes. All Schedule contract terms and conditions, except those stated in Questions 15 and 16, apply to contracts between the GSA Schedule contractor and state and local government entities.
24. Can Federal grantees purchase from GSA Schedules? If state or local governments themselves receive grant money, can they use these funds to purchase products and services from GSA Schedules?
Answer: Under the Disaster Purchasing Program, state and local government entities, as defined in 40 U.S.C § 502 (c), receiving Federal grant dollars, may use those grant dollars to purchase products and services from approved GSA Schedules. If purchasing entities choose to utilize grant monies, they MUST follow the guidelines laid out by the Federal granting agency. Ultimately, state and local government entities may use any source of funding to purchase under the program, as long as they follow their state and local regulations and the regulations laid out by the Federal granting agency.
Federal grantees that fall outside the definition of state and local government are not authorized to buy under the Disaster Purchasing Program.
25. Can state and local government entities use GSA Advantage!® to place orders under Disaster Purchasing?
Answer: Yes. State and local government entities may now use the GSA Advantage!®online shopping and ordering system to purchase products and services from Schedule contractors that have agreed to offer Disaster Purchasing. Products and services available for Disaster Purchasing are identified on GSA Advantage!® with the Disaster Purchasing icon.
26. How does GSA Advantage!® work?
Answer: Orders placed through GSA Advantage!® will be transmitted directly to GSA Schedule contractors. Schedule contractors will, in turn, ship the products and/or perform the services prior to billing the customer's credit card. GSA does not ship merchandise or bill the customer's credit card. All order/billing problems and/or discrepancies must be addressed directly with Schedule contractors.
Payments for state and local government purchases on GSA Advantage!® are limited to credit card payments using a state or local government issued credit card. No other form of payment will be accepted at this time. State and local government customers must register and obtain the necessary approvals from a supervisor or approving official as part of the registration process. State and local government ordering activities are responsible for ensuring that only authorized representatives of their governments place orders, and that the products and services purchased will only be used for governmental purposes.
27. Can state and local government entities use eBuy under Disaster Purchasing?
Answer: Yes. State and local government entities may use the eBuy online Request for Quotation (RFQ) tool to request information, find sources to fulfill their requirements, and request quotations under Disaster Purchasing. By using eBuy, state and local government entities now have the ability to leverage the power of the Internet to increase contractor participation and obtain quotations that result in best value purchase decisions.