Two notices recently published in the Federal Register indicate the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) intends to exercise Defense Production Act (DPA) authority in novel ways during the current coronavirus pandemic.
On May 12th, FEMA announced that it plans to invoke DPA authority which permits the President to consult with representatives of industry, business, financing, agriculture, labor, and other interests in order to enter into voluntary agreements or plans of action to help provide for the national defense.
The following day, FEMA published the Emergency Management Priorities and Allocations System (EMPAS) regulations governing FEMA’s use of DPA priorities and allocations authority — which, as we’ve previously covered on several occasions, permit the executive branch to require private companies to prioritize its orders and allocate resources in the private sector as needed to promote the national defense. FEMA included a new concept of third-party rated orders in its version of DPA regulations.
The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech has established a webpage where all contract-related developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) are summarized. Find the page at: https://contractingacademy.gatech.edu/coronavirus-information-for-contracting-officers-and-contractors/