Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.979, the Senate companion to legislation (H.R. 3500) sponsored by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The Federal Advance Contracts Enhancement (FACE) Act passed with a vote of 386-1. The bill passed the Senate last year and now heads to the president’s desk for his signature.
This legislation will improve FEMA’s advance contracting process, based on recommendations from an audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and will require FEMA to ensure more effective use and management of its advance contracts for goods and services.
“At a time when we are facing a climate crisis and unprecedented natural disasters, we cannot afford to have FEMA behind the ball on its advance contracts. After years of systemic flaws, it was clear we needed to make necessary reforms to FEMA’s advance contracting process so the country will be able to tackle recovery from future disasters more effectively,” said Chairman Thompson. “I thank my colleagues in the Senate and the House for ensuring this critical legislation was able to pass Congress this year and I look forward to working with FEMA as they improve their advance contracting.”
Specifically, the Federal Advance Contracts Enhancement (FACE) Act will require FEMA to:
- Provide complete and updated information on available advance contracts to state and local governments;
- Update guidance for agency personnel on acquisition planning processes;
- Regularly update Congress on its progress implementing GAO’s recommendations; and
- Improve the use of the agency’s program to track major acquisitions.