Federal assistance funds much of the work we do at GOHSEP – developing and implementing training and exercise opportunities and stakeholder education and outreach or obtaining and maintaining staff, emergency materials, supplies and equipment – most of those efforts are funded through Federal grants.
Federal assistance comes with rules and regulations that must be followed to maximize activities for eligible reimbursements. Following the rules and meeting regulatory requirements help to expedite needed funding and speed the delivery of preparedness, prevention, response, recovery and mitigation initiatives and programs for emergency management professionals, citizens and communities.
It is important that when procuring any materials, goods or services with Federal funding that the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) be followed. This applies to all grants funded by FEMA –Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation (HM) and Public Assistance (PA) Grants. Failure to comply with Federal regulations when procuring with Federal funds has been the biggest reason the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS – OIG) has recommendations for deobligation of funding.
Application of Federal Regulations
For disasters occurring prior to December 26, 2014, the following Procurement Requirements and Cost Principles apply to the respective Subrecipient (Applicant):
|Subgrantee||Procurement Requirements||Cost Principles|
| Local + Quasi-government Agencies|| 44 CFR 13.36|| 2 CFR 225|
| Higher Education + Other Private Nonprofits (PNPs)|| 2 CFR 215.40-48|| 2 CFR 230|
| Educational institutions|| 2 CFR 215.40-.48|| 2 CFR 220|
For disasters occurring on or after December 26, 2014, all sub-grantees are required to apply the procurement requirements found at 200 CFR 200.317-399 and the cost principles stated at 2 CFR 200.400-475.
A Subrecipient (Applicant) is allowed to use its own procurement process as long as that process conforms to the Federal procurement requirements as stated above. When the Subrecipient’s (Applicant’s) process is not as stringent as the above, the Subrecipient (Applicant) must meet the requirements of Federal regulations.
Many times State law is more
stringent than Federal regulations, in which case, the Subrecipient is required
to apply State law
to the procurement transaction.
Application of State Law
Local governments and quasi-government agencies are subject to Louisiana Revised Statute Title 38 (Title 38). Title 38 governs the procurement of materials and supplies and public works projects. The table entitled Procurement Requirements found in the The New PROCUREMENT GUIDE: Getting and KEEPING your FEMA grant dollars! explains the circumstances under which either State law or Federal regulations apply to the procurement transaction.
Important to Know
- Conduct all procurement transactions in a manner providing full and open competition. Noncompetitive procurement may be used under certain circumstances, i.e. public exigency or emergency will not permit the delay of a competitive solicitation.
- Take all necessary affirmative steps to assure the use of minority business, women’s business enterprises and labor surplus area firms when possible.
- Maintain oversight to assure that contractors perform according to the terms, conditions and specifications of their contracts.
- Maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the performance of employees who engage in the selection, award and administration of contracts.
- Maintain records sufficient to detail the history of the procurement. These records will include but are not limited to the following rationale for the method of procurement, selection of contract type, contractor selection or rejection and the basis for the contract price.
- Use time and material type contracts only after determining that no other contract is suitable and if that if the contractor exceeds the ceiling price it does so at its own risk.
- Conduct a cost or price analysis in connection with every procurement action in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.
- Negotiate profit as a separate element of the contract for each contract in which there is no price competition and in all cases where a cost analysis is performed.
- DO NOT use cost plus a percentage of cost and percentage of construction cost methods of contracting.
- Include required provisions in all contracts awarded. Source: DHS-OIG Audit Tips for managing Disaster-Related Project Costs- OIG-15- 100-D-June 8, 2015
Failure to procure in compliance with Federal regulations may result in a loss or decrease of subrecipient funding.
We can help
Understanding procurement rules can seem overwhelming without help. GOHSEP provides several resources to assist you in proper procurement:
- GOHSEP offers tools and job aids to help you understand the procurement process and Federal requirements.
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| GOHSEP PRODUCED PROCUREMENT JOB AID|
- GOHSEP offers Stakeholder Education + Outreach events throughout the year to update Subrecipients (Applicants) on evolving procurement requirements and to offer Procurement guidance to stakeholders.
- GOHSEP hosts a Legal Seminar, generally each year in the fall,that offers a more advanced discussion of procurementrules and requirements.Presenters are GOHSEP professional staff and subject-matter experts (SMEs), along with other SMEs from the private sector.