GSA Schedule Opened Up to Advanced Purchasing
The Security Industry Association (SIA) announces the confirmation of a new interim rule that expands state and local government access to electronic security products and services offered through the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedules Program. During the past several months, SIA’s Government Relations Committee has led the electronic security industry’s effort to expand “cooperative purchasing.” GSA’s rule permits state and local governments to use the Federal Supply Schedules for the acquisition of products and services that could be used to facilitate recovery from a major natural disaster or terrorist attacks.
Of particular significance to suppliers is a provision of the GSA rule that provides for “advanced purchasing.” Under this special provision, state and local governments could acquire products and services even before a disaster or terrorist attack takes place.
Last October, President Bush signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act of 2007 (Public Law 109-364). Section 833 of this law authorizes GSA to allow state and local governments to use the Schedules Program to acquire products and services that facilitate recovery from a major disaster, terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological attack.
The GSA rule became effective on an interim basis Feb. 1. The rule implements the Defense Authorization Act and permits state and local governments to use the Federal Supply Schedules for the acquisition of products and services that could be used to facilitate recovery from a major disaster elected by the president. The rule also permits the use of Federal Supply Schedules for the recovery of products and services needed to recover from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack. The Department of Homeland Security has determined that all of the goods and services available on GSA Schedules could potentially be used for this purpose. There will be a 60-day public comment period for the interim rule change. After GSA receives comments, it may revise the rule before it becomes final.
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