Hurricane Harvey – GSA Issues Emergency Buying Powers

A GSA memo has increased the dollar thresholds for emergency procurement, in response to the devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey, allowing contracting officers to more easily purchase resources they need to provide relief efforts.


Increased Micro-Purchase Thresholds

“Micro-Purchases” do not have to go out for competitive bid – they can be made simply by using a government-issued purchase card called a SmartCard that works like a regular Visa or MasterCard.  The normal maximum amount allowed for this type of purchase is $3,000.  This emergency provision increases that threshold to $20,000


Increased Simplified Acquisition Thresholds

Simplified Acquisition Purchase Thresholds have also increased, from the normal $750,000, to $13 million for commercial items.


Local Preference Set-Asides

Contracting Officers may choose to give preference to “local firms in the disaster area,” which is most easily done through local area set-asides.  Contracting officers may also choose to “limit competition when needed.”


Threshold increases will remain in effect until Dec. 31.


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