The House has passed a bill to allow state and local agencies to buy products and services through the GSA‘s Federal Supply Schedules in the event of an emergency. The Senate passed the bill in May. According to an article in Federal Computer Week, the bill allows governments to buy from schedule contracts in order to prepare for an imminent disaster and also gives the American Red Cross permission to use the schedules. Since the House amended the Senate’s original version, the Senate must now approve the bill as written.
This is likely a good thing as no one wants to see local response inhibited in preparation for disasters such as hurricanes or oil spills due to government red tape. While the GSA is now temporarily allowing access, this law will make it permanent.