FEMA issued an invitation for public comment on the agency’s plans for delivery of life sustaining resources. FEMA intends to award a single contract for all end-to-end activity.  We think that is the wrong solution for Puerto Rico and the USVI.

 
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FEMA solicitation 70FA301BR00000008 is an invitation for comment on the agency’s plans for delivery of life sustaining resources, including: water, meals, cots, tarps, plastic sheeting, blankets, sandbags, generators, and fuel.  

Vendors in the following areas were urged to provide technical information about their firm’s capabilities and the reasons why they should be allowed to compete:

  • Local delivery to distribution points including towns where “roads are blocked or destroyed”

  • “Consolidation...and warehousing for storage” in Puerto Rico & USVI

  • Transition into existing shipping of “an average of 300 containers daily”

  • Cross dock/freight forwarding...of FEMA life-saving resources”

  • Specialized containers (20’x40’) and trucks (flatbeds, lowboys, refrigerated)

  • Air transportation for “time sensitive deliveries”

Our concerns with FEMA's plans to award a single contract:

  • FEMA tried to escape media and public scrutiny by issuing the RFI before the Thanksgiving long weekend with a due date of of Weds 11/29 at 10am

  • FEMA intends to bypass local business and NGO participation despite the success of innovative local and NGO teams like those led by Jose Andres and Lin Manuel Miranda.

Additional, FEMA’s proposed work statement includes no provisions that many of us have come to expect in fair contracting:

  • No local preference for hiring or subcontracting

  • No prevailing wage provision or documentation for the contractor or subcontractors

  • No open data to improve transparency on the delivery of life sustaining resources

  • No community engagement or communication with local business, government, or NGOs

  • No public participation in setting quality standards or reviewing overall performance

 

We strongly recommend you review the actual language of the RFI itself. The complete RFI can be found at http://www.fbo.gov/.