Washington, DC – Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Fred Thompson (R-TN) and Armed Services Ranking Member John Warner (R-VA) today introduced legislation at the request of the President, the Federal Emergency Procurement Flexibility Act, that will grant the Executive Branch expanded authority to purchase goods and services under expedited procedures in its fight against terrorism.
“In ordinary times, because of recent procurement policy reforms, we believe that a federal agency can buy most anything it needs quickly and efficiently under current law if it has good management practices in place and smart, well-trained contracting officers,” said Senator Thompson. “However,” he continued, “these are not ordinary times.”
The bill is intended to give federal agencies the flexibility they need to purchase the most high-tech and sophisticated products and services to support antiterrorism efforts and to defend against biological, chemical, nuclear, radiological or technological attacks. It builds on emergency contracting authority already in place for the Department of Defense and other agencies and goes further by providing additional contracting flexibilities.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that Federal agencies with a role in homeland security can purchase – quickly and efficiently – the most high-tech and sophisticated products and services to support antiterrorism efforts and to defend against biological, chemical, nuclear, radiological or technological attacks,” said Senator Thompson.
• Streamlines procurement procedures for contingency operations or peacekeeping and humanitarian operations;
• Permits agencies to use more “commercial-style” contracting contracting procedures for technologies or products which are cutting-edge;
• Allows agencies to use approaches other than contracts to buy research and development for new technologies to fight against terrorism; and
• Requires agencies to do ongoing market research to identify new companies with new capabilities, including small businesses, to help agencies in the fight against terrorism.