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Becoming Better Prepared: CALL 911 for Police, Fire and Procurement! - Part III

Monday, March 5, 2018  
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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which tracks billion-dollar disasters, “2017 was the costliest year on record for natural disasters in the United States, with a price tag of at least $306 billion.” Whether its natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and blizzards, or manmade emergencies such as civil disturbances, health epidemics or train derailments, emergencies come in all forms. And when one typically thinks of a first response when the 911 call comes in - by police, fire, health or utility professionals - they may not be aware of another crucial member of the team - procurement. Putting necessary contracts in place; purchasing equipment, vehicles, and safety gear; setting up evacuation centers and obtaining equipment for debris clean-up is often done by procurement professionals. 

Two Priorities for Procurement

Public procurement operates under a set of best practices and public procurement policies to encourage competition, transparency and best value solution for the organization. However, under a state of emergency, procurement may operate under an expedited process to address the issue at hand. During an emergency, Procurement has two key priorities – assisting to meet the needs of the emergency AND complying with any procurement rules for future budget reconciliation, vendor payments and possible FEMA reimbursements. If you think that one is more important than the other, then think again. Unfortunately, most of the training on FEMA is done on the job – right in the middle of the emergency.  

For instance, do you know the answers to the following questions:

  • When a local disaster proclamation is made, can the city council, board of supervisors or other elected body waive purchasing rules, in accordance with state law?  
  • Do you know the top three reasons why FEMA rejects a reimbursement request?
    What timelines are important to know when an emergency moves to a recovery phase?
  • What percentage of requests show audit findings for procurement problems?
  • During a disaster can “piggyback” purchasing be used to obtain emergency supplies or conduct permanent repair work?

Tune in to our upcoming webinar series, hosting public procurement professionals who have served in the midst of emergencies, sharing their stories and knowledge of BEFORE, DURING and AFTER activities.  In addition, NCPP has added a special segment to this webinar series entitled, “Ask the Expert” with consultants who are well versed and knowledgeable about FEMA regulations, cooperative procurement, insurance, and specific procurement requirements in handling emergencies.  

National Cooperative Procurement Partners | 4248 Park Glen Rd.| Minneapolis, MN 55416 | 952.928.4660 |

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