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Bipartisan Law Seeks to Improve FEMA’s Advance Contracting Process; Rep. Bennie Thompson Quoted

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Federal Emergency
Federal Emergency Management Agency

President Trump signed into law a bipartisan bill to improve the process of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for awarding contracts before disasters strike to ensure readiness, Government Executive reported Monday.

The Federal Advance Contracts Enhancements Act was introduced in Congress to amend the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 and incorporate the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recommendations in a 2018 report.

The measure will direct FEMA to provide state and local governments with updated information on available advance contracts, enhance its programs to track major acquisitions, inform specific congressional panels on how it is implementing recommendations from GAO and update acquisition guidance for agency personnel.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, introduced the bill in the lower chamber.

"After years of systemic flaws, it was clear we needed to make necessary reforms to FEMA’s advance contracting process so the country will be able to tackle recovery from future disasters more effectively…I look forward to working with FEMA as they improve their advance contracting," Thompson said.