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July 19, 2006
In Reply Refer To:
1510/9210 (WO-850) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-198
Expires:  09/30/2007
To:                   All Washington Office and Field Officials

Attention:        Procurement and Fire Management Personnel 

From:               Assistant Director, Business and Fiscal Resources

Subject:           Incident Contracting Authorities and Procedures

Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) reiterates authorities and establishes procedures for contracting during emergency incidents.
Background: As a result of incident business process reviews conducted on activities associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last season, issues were identified that apply to
fire procurement, as well as all risk incidents. 
In addition, this IM provides clarification of warrant authorities during incidents. 
Policy/Action: Service and Supply Plan. Based on fire history and to the extent practical, offices are expected to establish a service and supply plan during the fire preseason that includes commonly used  resources in the area. See Chapter 20, Section 22, of the Interagency Incident Business Management Handbook for guidance on this topic. Establishment of blanket purchase agreements is recommended whenever possible. 
Emergency Incident Purchase Order. Contracting Officers (CO) shall promote competition to the maximum extent possible, requesting quotations from as many potential sources as practical under the circumstances. Files shall document competition and determination of price reasonableness. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 13.301 requires a procurement instrument be in place for orders over $2,500, including delivery and task orders, when the method of payment is by purchase card or convenience check. A new form, Emergency Incident Purchase Order (Attachment 1), shall be used in its draft form for all orders where payment is made with the purchase card or check. Terms and conditions required by the FAR and statements of work shall be attached as appropriate. Attachment 2 provides typical commercial item clauses suitable for most orders placed on incidents. Attachment 3 provides the Service Contract Act Wage Determination.  
Numbering Scheme. Emergency Incident Purchase Orders shall be numbered as follows: INLYY6xxxxA to xxxxZ where YY is the office code and xxxx are the last 4 digits of the charge card. The last alpha character represents each action. If there are more than 26 actions, the user would move to a 14-digit document number; i.e., INLYYK06xxxxAA, xxxxAZ, xxxxBA, xxxxBZ, xxxxCA, xxxxCZ, etc. 
Convenience Checks. Checksshall only be used in lieu of the purchase card if the vendor does not accept the card and one of the Debt Collection Improvement Act waivers applies (Attachment 4). Please ensure that Internal Revenue Service 1099 information is obtained and processed in accordance with the guidance found in Attachment 5. The maximum amount for checks is $2,500. Authority to issues checks exceeding $2,500 may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Bureau Procurement Chief. The COs may make payments for Emergency Equipment Rental Agreements (EERA) when necessary within the limits of their warrant to a maximum of $25,000 (see BLM Manual Section, Acquisitions, 1512.53.B).
Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) Reporting. Report all transactions over $2,500 via direct access to FPDS-NG. If the vendor is registered in Central Contractor Registration (CCR), do not use the CCR exception. If the vendor is not registered in CCR, encourage the vendor to register so they will be ready to do business with the Government in the future. If the vendor is still not registered at the time you are reporting the action into FPDS-NG, use the CCR exception of unusual and compelling need. Be sure your charge card file is documented per FAR 6.302-2.
Warrant Authorities. Warranted COs, other than Incident Contracting Officers (ICO), may exceed their warrant authority by three times the amount of their warrant during emergency incidents.  Those warrants that restrict service contracting to $2,500 and construction contracting to $2,000 remain restricted to those levels. Warranted COs may consider the Regional Geographic Area Supplements to the Interagency Incident Business Management Handbook as an established source when awarding an EERA for equipment listed and priced in the Geographic Area Supplement. The EERAs requiring negotiated rates are limited to the warrant level of the CO. 
The ICOs are authorized to award EERAs using rates that have been established and published in the regional Geographic Area Supplements to the Interagency Incident Business Management Handbook. The ICOs do not have authority to change the terms and conditions, negotiate rates, settle contract disputes or claims, or terminate EERAs. Review by the Chief of the CO or a Level III or IV CO is required annually. 
Timeframe: This IM is effective immediately. 
Budget Impact:  None.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: BLM Manual Section 1510 – Acquisition. 
Coordination: This policy was developed in coordination with the State/Center Procurement Analysts and the Incident Business Practices Group. 
Contact: Questions regarding this IM may be directed to your State/Center Procurement Analyst or contact Linda Johnson, Fire Procurement Analyst (WO-850), at 602-906-5662.
Signed by:                                                       
Authenticated by:
Michael A. Ferguson                                       
Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                            
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Business and Fiscal Resources
5 Attachments

Last updated: 10-21-2009